Sunday, February 15, 2015

FREYA STARK, an explorer and a writer

Freya Stark was a British explorer and travel writer that was born on the 31st of January 1893 and died at the age of 100. She was one of the first non-Arabians to travel through the southern Arabian Deserts. Many of her trips were to areas like Turkey and the Middle East where a really reduced number of women had travelled before.
Freya was born in Paris when her parents were studying art. She had no formal education as a child, but she moved about with her parents and learned French, German and Italian before she entered the University of London in 1912. After working as a nurse in Italy during the first World War, she returned to London to attend the School of Oriental Studies. Stark published her first major book in 1934 in which she combined practical travel trips and entertaining commentaries about people, places, customs and history of Persia. Thereafter she travelled in the Middle East, Turkey, Greece and Italy where she made her home. After working for the British Ministry and founding the anti-Nazi Brotherhood of Freedom during the Second World War, Freya visited Asia, Afghanistan and Nepal. She wrote other books, several volumes of collected letters and four volumes of memoirs 
I chose Freya Stark because from my point of view she was a really brave woman that, in a particular way, fought for the gender equality by travelling and trying what only men did at the time. I like the idea that besides an explorer she's also a writer.

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