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The Wilder Shores of Love by Lesley Blanch
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The Wilder Shores of Love (1954)

by Lesley Blanch

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"Life's poetry never sank to prose", 1 February 2016

This review is from: On the Wilder Shores of Love: A Bohemian Life (Kindle Edition)
Couldnt put this down - biographies of four women who 'belonged to the West but dared to turn to the East for adventure and love.'
Thus such famous travellers as the more academic Lady Hester Stanhope are excluded, as the author focusses on more romantic tales.
Isabelle Burton's fevered love and devotion to her explorer husband.....Isabelle Eberhardt, child of a dysfunctional Russian emigre family, and her short and weird, hashish-fueled life in the Algerian desert.....and English aristocrat Lady Ellenborough, who worked her way East through a series of lovers and husbands to find true romance with her Sheihh.
Perhaps the fourth subject can hardly be said to have 'turned to the East', as she was forcibly abducted by Corsairs as she sailed home from her French convent school. Aimee Dubucq de Rivery ended up wife of the Sultan, but her westernizing influence on her son, the future Mahmoud II, was - the author contends - behind the stance Turkey adopted in numerous political events of the day.

The strict biographer might baulk at the author's use of imagination where she lacks documentary proof - "it is probable that Aimee... sometimes accompanied her son" etc. but I found this an unputdownable read. ( )
  starbox | Jan 31, 2016 |
Requested via Doc Del? 2 December 2014
  Egaro | Dec 1, 2014 |
I found this book on the bookshelf when I was vacationing with my family in the South of France. (Wow, that is possibly one of the most pretentious sentences I've every written. But that's I was.) It's beautifully evocative, instantly transported you back through time, into the lives of these fascinating women. My only caveat is that it comes from that period of oriental exoticism which means it has some problematic racial issues for the modern reader ( )
  shojo_a | Apr 4, 2013 |
I found this book on the bookshelf when I was vacationing with my family in the South of France. (Wow, that is possibly one of the most pretentious sentences I've every written. But that's I was.) It's beautifully evocative, instantly transported you back through time, into the lives of these fascinating women. My only caveat is that it comes from that period of oriental exoticism which means it has some problematic racial issues for the modern reader ( )
  shojo_a | Apr 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Love and Love always read from the same book, but not always from the same page -- Richard Garnett, de Flagello Myreteo
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To my husband
Romain Gary
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From the start she had known what she wanted, and proceeded single-minded, with the force of a steam-engine, towards her goal.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786710306, Paperback)

For the four women included in this classic volume of biography, the wilder shores of love lay east of their native Europe—in Arabia, for Victorian Isabel Arundell, who married the defiantly unorthodox social outlaw and adventurer Burton of Arabia; in a harem, for Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, a convent girl abducted by Corsair pirates and presented to the ruler of the Ottoman Empire; in Bedouin tents and the bed of Sheik Abdul Madjuel El Mezrab for the raffish divorcee Jane Digby; and in the Sahara, for the Russian-born Isabelle Eberhardt, who entered the world of desert Arabs dressed as a man. "Love, wanderlust, faraway places—all that Romance implies—make up this delicious book.... Ideal reading."—Washington Post Book World "A splendid quartet of biographies ... it is as engrossing a literary trip through the exotic East as I have taken."—San Jose Mercury News "'A fabulous quartet' featuring four nineteenth-century women 'who out-dared the heroines of romance novels ... and swayed the course of empires.'"—New York Times Book Review

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:33 -0400)

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