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A Winter in Arabia
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Freya Stark recounts her 1937-38 expedition into what is now Yemen, a journey which helped secure her reputation not only as a great travel writer, but also as a first-rate geographer, historian, and archaeologist. "A Winter in Arabia" offers rare glimpses of life behind the veil-the subtleties of business and social conduct, the elaborate beauty rituals of the women, and the bitter animosities between rival tribes. Ultimately, we are not only captivated by Stark's sensitive evocation of this wondrous land, but inspired by her passion.
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"As an explorer, Stark could claim no major discoveries, but her acute observations and her surveying skills had earned her professional respect . . . She was a vivid describer of scenes and landscapes . . . She was a finely calibrated recording instrument in a land that was just awakening to the changes being wrought by paved roads, nation-states, and oil . . . "A Winter in Arabia" recounts how, bored and disillusioned by an expedition with a trained archeologist and with its painstakingly glorious achievements, Stark set off again to explore the frankincense lands . . . There is a quiet melancholy to these books-- an unshakable sense of cultures irretrievably lost, and of the ruthlessness of time, which seems to arise both from the nature of the subject and from the nature of the traveler growing old." -- "The New Yorker" "Freya Stark... must be left to ride her donkey forever along the empty beaches and the roadless valleys of the 50s Turkish landscape... She, like Homer, Al

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