Lady Hester Stanhope was an adventurous woman who defied the restrictions of her time. Born during a revolutionary age, Lady Hester grew up to act as hostess to her uncle William Pitt the Younger, the British Prime Minister; but she left his household and courageously travelled across Europe and the Middle East. She survived a shipwreck, and conducted the first archaeological excavation in Palestine. Eventually she settled in Lebanon, where she played a pivotal role in local politics. But her escapades took her too far from polite Victorian society, and she died reclusive and alone, possibly addicted to drugs, in a remote Lebanese fortress. In 1846, a few years after Lady Hester's death, her doctor published three volumes of Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope as Related by Herself in Conversations with her Physician, and these were followed in the succeeding year by three volumes of the Travels of Lady Hester Stanhope.