Isabelle records her thoughts during her visit to her newly married brother Augustin in Sardinia.
Cagliari,1 January 1900
I sit here all by myself, looking at the grey expanse of murmuring sea...I am utterly alone on earth, and always will be in this Universe so full of lures and disappointments...alone, turning my back on a world of dead hopes and memories.
In her short life Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904) came to be known as the ultimate enigma and representative of everything that seemed dangerous in nineteenth-century society. Born the illegitimate daughter of an aristocratic Russian emigree she was a cross-dresser and sensualist, an experienced drug-taker and a transgressor of boundaries: a European reborn in the desert as an Arab and Muslim, a woman who reinvented herself as a man, wandering the Sahara on horseback. A profoundly lonely individual for all her numerous sexual adventures, she roused controversy and was loved and hated in equal measure. A mysterious attempt was made on her life and even her eventual death was ambiguous: she drowned in the desert at the age of twenty-seven. La bonne nomade, Isabelle's diaries, is a fascinating account of her strange and passionate nomadic lifestyle; an evocative and deeply personal record of her torments, her search for inspiration as a writer, her spirituality and the intense color and fire of her living.… (more)