Improbable Women: Five Who Explored the Middle East (Contemporary Issues in the Middle East)
Zenobia was the third-century Syrian queen who rebelled against Roman rule. Before Emperor Aurelian prevailed against her forces, she had seized almost one-third of the Roman Empire. Today, her legend attracts thousands of visitors to her capital, Palmyra, one of the great ruined cities of the... show more
Zenobia was the third-century Syrian queen who rebelled against Roman rule. Before Emperor Aurelian prevailed against her forces, she had seized almost one-third of the Roman Empire. Today, her legend attracts thousands of visitors to her capital, Palmyra, one of the great ruined cities of the ancient world. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, during the time of Ottoman rule, travel to the Middle East was almost impossible for Westerners. That did not stop five daring women from abandoning their conventional lives and venturing into the heart of this inhospitable region. Improbable Women explores the lives of Hester Stanhope, Jane Digby, Isabel Burton, Gertrude Bell, and Freya Stark, narrating the story of each woman's pilgrimage to Palmyra to pay homage to the warrior queen. Although the women lived in different time periods, ranging from the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, they all came from middle to upper-class British backgrounds and overcame great societal pressures to pursue their independence. Cotterman situates their lives against a backdrop of the Middle Eastern history that was the setting for their adventures. Divided into six sections, one devoted to Zenobia and one focused on each of the five women, Improbable Women is a fascinating glimpse into the experiences and characters of these intelligent, open-minded, and free-spirited explorers.
Publish date: November 30th 2013
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Pages no: 312
Edition language: English
Improbable Women: Five Who Explored the Middle East by William Woods Cotterman My rating: 4 of 5 stars Would you believe it took me two months to write this review?The subjects of Improbable Women by William Cotterman are women from wealthy families who were explorers in the 18th and 19th centuries....
bookshelves: autumn-2013, biography, e-book, history, published-2013, nonfiction, women, net-galley, adventure, ancient-history, archaeology, cover-love, lifestyles-deathstyles, travel Read from September 28 to 29, 2013 NetGalley: Syracuse University Press: Pub Date Oct 16 2013Dedication: To my...
Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley. Might be changes before final publication. Improbable Women is not a bad book. It really isn’t. Yet, I wanted it to be so much more than it was, and in some way it felt like a letdown. Part of this reaction is due to my own preferences when it comes to readin...