"WITH LOVE TO JEAN—IN ASOLO IN 1981": FIRST EDITION OF A PEAK IN DARIEN, INSCRIBED BY FREYA STARK TO HER CLOSE FRIEND, JEAN GUNN
STARK, Freya. A Peak in Darien. (London): John Murray, (1976). Octavo, original green paper boards, original dust jacket. $900.
First edition of this concise collection of essays about Freya Stark's experiences as a traveler in unfamiliar places and her meditations on life, inscribed on the title page by Freya Stark to her close friend, Jean Gunn: "with love to Jean—in Asolo in 1981," and with her last name crossed out, presumably to reflect intimacy.
Middle Eastern traveler Freya Stark structured this collection as a series of short essays/meditations on her life. Chapter titles include: "Happiness on the Treviso Road"; "Heroism, or the Conquest of Fear"; "A Dialogue on Age"; and "Tradition," among many others. This copy is inscribed to Jean Gunn, one of Stark's closest friends during the later years of her life. Stark was also friends with Gunn's husband, Dr. William Gunn, 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. The inscription refers to Asolo, Italy, which Stark—a world traveler practically from birth—considered her truest home. 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" (Freya Stark in Asolo, 41).
A fine inscribed copy with interesting provenance.