FIRST EDITION OF FREYA STARK'S SEEN IN THE HADHRAMAUT, 1938, INSCRIBED BY FREYA STARK
(YEMEN) STARK, Freya. Seen in the Hadhramaut. London: John Murray, (1938). Quarto, original beige cloth, original dust jacket. $2800.
First edition of this travel memoir detailing a British woman's journey through Yemen, with 130 plates after photographs by the author, inscribed by her on the half title: "By Freya Stark."
Freya Stark's narrative of her journey to Hadramaut—part of modern-day Yemen—is notable for its striking photographs of the region. A war nurse and mountaineer, Freya Stark used a period of convalescence from a stomach ulcer to train as a governess, studying at the School of Oriental Studies in London. "In 1927 Stark lived in Lebanon for several months and travelled through Syria with Buddicom… She planned a journey to northern Persia after reading about the region at the British Museum. In 1929 she moved to Baghdad, where she went slumming in Arab clothing and was an outsider among priggish British expatriates. She gained acceptance after adventurous journeys to Lurestan and the Alamut district of Mazandaran, and the War Office made maps from her observations… In 1933 Stark returned to London to receive accolades as a female traveller. She was awarded the Back grant from the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and was the first woman to receive the Burton medal of the Royal Asiatic Society" (DNB). "Freya Stark writes beautiful, rousing travel prose" (Forum). Published simultaneously with a signed limited edition of only 25 copies.
Book very nearly fine, with only mild toning to cloth extremities. Dust jacket extremely good, with only faint staining, light wear to extremities, and a few tape repairs to verso. A most desirable signed copy.