FIRST EDITION OF FREYA STARK IN ASOLO, SIGNED IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION BY HER
(STARK, Freya) LA VALLE, Francesco, editor. Freya Stark in Asolo. Asolo: Magnifica Comunita Pedemontana del Piave al Brenta, 1984. Octavo, original pictorial paper wrappers. $950.
First edition of this richly photo-illustrated work about Middle Eastern traveler and photographer Freya Stark's life in Asolo, Italy, signed on the half title by Freya Stark with a stamp affirming that Stark signed it for an event in Asolo in the year of publication. Text in English and Italian.
This bilingual (English-Italian) book was produced as a tribute to Middle Eastern traveler Freya Stark's life in Asolo, Italy, which she claimed as her home for many years. Published slightly after Stark's 91st birthday, this book includes pictures of Stark's friends and Stark's travels, as well as essays by Francesco La Valle (the editor of this work and president of the local community) and the Italian travel writer Cino Boccazzi. According to her Italian admirers, Stark was "among the last of those illustrious foreigners who loved this area so much that they chose it as their second home" (p. 41). This copy is signed by Freya Stark and bears a stamp just above her signature confirming that she signed it in the year of publication for the event celebrating her in Asolo. Laid in is a typed letter from Dr. William Gunn to Asolo community president Francesco La Valle thanking him for an invitation to "the ceremonies of Homage to Freya Stark" in Asolo and confirming that he plans to attend with his wife. Stark was close friends with Gunn and his wife, Jean, during her later years. Dr. Gunn was the founder of the European Centre for Disaster Medicine, former Director of Emergency Humanitarian Operations for the WHO, and author of nearly two dozen monographs on humanitarian relief.
Interior quite nice, only light wear to extremities of wrappers. A near-fine signed copy.