The four women who form the subject of this book are northern shadows across a southern landscape; four nineteenth century Europeans who all found in the East glowing horizons of emotion and daring, which were vanishing from the West. They were of very different natures and backgrounds, yet all were united by a common inclination. They were realists of romance, who broke with their dreams and translated them into robust action.

Anne Dubaucq de Rivery, cousin of the Empress Josephine, who was captured by corsairs and flung into the seraglio of the Grand Turk. Isabelle Eberhardt, the chaotic Slav, mystic and voluptuary, who galloped off into the Sahara, dressed as an Arab; Jane Digby, Lady Ellenborough, the beautiful raffish creature whose list of lovers read, as she said, like a naughty Almanach de Gotha, who yet retained an innocent and romantic idealism which led her at last to the black Bedouin tents. Isabel Button, wife of Button of Arabia, loving with single-minded fury and possessing through the man, the East she craved.

All of them, in their separate ways, used love as a means of individual expression and of liberation from the greying horizons of Nineteenth Century Europe. Each found fulfilment, as women, on wilder, Eastern shores.

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Authored by Lesley Blanch and published by John Murray of London in 1954. Hard cover bound this First Edition, Second Impression is in Very Good condition, covered in plastic, with a facsimile dust jacket. The size of the book is 220x148x34mm, with 324 pages including an index and bibliography.

The dust jacket is a facsimile of a good copy. Gilt titles, re-worked on front. Inscrption from previous owner covered by my attractive bookplate. 16pages b&w photographic plates, line drawings. Previous owners name and date to title page.