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STARK, Freya.


The Furnace and the Cup 1914-30; The Open Door 1930-1935; The Growth of Danger 1935-1939; Bridge of the Levant 1940-1943; New Worlds for Old 1943-1946; The Broken Road 1947-1952; Some Talk of Alexander 1952-1959; Traveller's Epilogue 1960-1980. Edited by Caroline & Lucy Moorehead.

Wiltshire: Compton Russell; Michael Russell, 1974-82 Stock Code: 127604
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Complete set of first editions, first impressions, each volume inscribed by the author to Jean Gunn and her husband William (except 4 and 7, which were added to the set at a later date). Jean Gunn was a close and dear friend of Stark (1893-1993) in Stark's later years. Her husband, William Gunn, was the founder of the European Centre for Disaster Medicine and author of 20 works, largely on humanitarian relief. The inscriptions read as follows: vol. 1: "For Jeane sic and Bill on my ninetieth birthday with affectionate hopes of repetition, Freya Stark. Asolo 31/1/83"; vol. 2: "To the Gunns, my dear friends - Asolo 31/1/83. Freya Stark."; vol. 3: "The Growth of Danger - but with friendship and peaceful hopes from Freya Stark 31.1.-1983"; vol. 5: "For the Gunn family with the memory of a lovely visit, from Freya Stark. Xmas - 1980"; vol. 6: "For Bill and Jean and Joy and Genny with love and gratitude from Freya. March 19. '81"; vol. 8: "Happy days remembered in these happy days with their young people and the mountain world about us. Freya Stark to name crossed out Jean. 16/12/19...." Stark lived in Asolo on a number of occasions throughout her life from 1903 onwards, and it was there she partially retired in 1970; she was presented with the keys to Asolo on 26 May 1984. These letters cover 65 years of Stark's eventful life, including her travels in the Middle East and work for the British in the "Brotherhood of Freedom", and are a fascinating document of a woman who Lawrence Durrell called a "poet of travel" and "one of the most remarkable women of our age". Stark moved to Baghdad in 1929, 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" (ODNB).

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8 volumes, octavo. Original black cloth, titles to spines in gilt, coloured endpapers, most with maps. With the dust jackets.


Vol. 4 dustjacket is price-clipped. Loosely inserted into vols. 2 and 5 are scanned copies of an Il Gazzettino article entitled "Freya, 'Queen' of Asolo" and dated 1984. Loosely inserted into vol. 4 is a postcard inscribed to Jean and William Gunn from a friend presenting them with the volume and thanking them for a recent meal. Spines minimally rolled, a little toning to the text block, small mark to the fore edge of vol. 7; a near-fine set in the dust jackets (jacket to vol. 4 price-clipped), a little rubbing to spine ends, small closed tear to foot of spine of vol. 3.


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