Doreen Ingrams (1906-1997) was a highly unconventional historian. The youngest child of a Liberal Home Secretary, she ran away from home to become an actress. After six fulfilling yeatrs of Shakespearean leads, she fell in love with young colonial official. Bored rigid by the society of other colonial administrators in Mauritius, Zanzibar and Yemen, she survived by immersing herself in the languages, politics and cultures around her, educating herself like those other pioneering, female, scholar-travellers of the Middle East. She and her equally distinguished husband, Harold Ingrams, were jointly awarded gold medals by the Royal Geographical Society, The Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Central Asian Society.