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The Wilder Shores Of Love [Paperback]

Lesley Blanch
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: £8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

21 Jan 2010

"There have been many women who have followed the beckoning Eastern star" says Lesley Blanch. She writes about four such women in The Wilder Shores Of Love - Isabel Burton (who married the Arabist and explorer Richard), Jane Digby el-Mezrab (Lady Ellenborough, the society beauty who ended up living in the Syrian desert with a Bedouin chieftain), Aimée Dubucq de Rivery (a French convent girl captured by pirates and sent to the Sultan's harem in Istanbul), and Isabelle Eberhardt (a Swiss linguist who felt most comfortable in boy's clothes and lived among the Arabs in the Sahara).

They all escaped from the constraints of nineteenth century Europe and fled to the Middle East, where they found love, fulfillment, and "glowing horizons of emotion and daring". Blanch's first, bestselling book, The Wilder Shores Of Love pioneered a new kind of group biography focusing on women escaping the boredom of convention. Yet although of widely different natures, backgrounds and origins, all had this in common - each found, in the East, 'glowing horizons of emotion and daring'. And each of them, in their own way, used love as a means of individual expression, of liberation and fulfilment.

Frequently Bought Together

The Wilder Shores Of Love + Daughter of the Desert: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell + A Scandalous Life: The Biography of Jane Digby
Price For All Three: £22.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (21 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753827913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753827918
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Their true stories, first told grippingly by Blanch in 1954, are amazing...makes you realise that we, with our wimpish long-haul packages and compulsory travel insurance, don't know we're born. (Val Hennessy DAILY MAIL)

Book Description

The classic story of four nineteenth-century women who, for different reasons, gravitated to the wildness of the Middle East and North Africa.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional extravagance & extreme barbarity 28 Mar 2007
This book, first published over 50 years ago, tells the stories of four European ladies in search of adventure. The tale of Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, given as a sumptuous present to the Sultan of Turkey at the end of the 18th Century, succeeds in painting a picture of a court of exceptional extravagance & extreme barbarity, a world away from the social conformities of western Europe. Aimee's son went on to be the first reformer in the Ottoman Empire.

It was such a very foreign world to me that I went on to read five more books about Turkey, from the Ottomans to Ataturk. It's been an enthralling learning curve.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exogamy to the third power... 14 Mar 2011
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
... to use that sociological term for marrying out of your immediate clan. Lesley Blanch has chosen the lives of four dynamic 19th Century women, all of whom followed "the path less traveled," three voluntarily. Another sub-set of the three left their northern climes for "adventure" and much else on the eastern and southern sides of the Mediterranean. All are worthwhile, even amazing stories. The most unfortunate aspect of the book(s) is (are) the cover(s)! My copy was published by "Abacus," a British publisher, and the edition most readily available through Amazon is available through Da Capo Press. Both feature a languid, passive, bare-breasted woman, in the finest tradition of "Orientalist" crap; just swallow hard, or ripe the cover off, because there is nothing "languid" about these women.

Other reviewers have described the four, so briefly they were Aimée Dubucq de Rivery, the one whose adventure was not voluntary. She was captured by pirates, sold into the Sultan's harem in Istanbul, and became the mother of Sultan Mahmoud II, who helped create modern Turkey. Isabel Burton, the wife, and promoter of Sir Richard Burton, the famous explorer, and linguist, who spoke 28 languages. The one who used her "charms" the most, cutting a broad swath across the rich, powerful, and famous of Europe before establishing herself as the wife of a Sheikh in Syria was Jane Digby, a/k/a Lady Ellenborough. She and George Sand, well, it's certainly not the right expression, and I'm not sure what is, "crossed swords," in sharing Honoré de Balzac. And the last, Isabelle Eberhardt, bedeviled the French colonial administration in Algeria, but was a confidant General Lyautey, and was to die at the age of 27, in a desert flood.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for any woman with dreams of travelling 22 Jun 2006
I first read this book when I was 17 yrs old. It was given to me as a gift on a trip to Egypt and I found it to be a fascinating read. All of the woman portrayed were adventurous in completely different ways. It appealed to the wanderlust in me and I think it makes a fantastic gift for anyone who wants to take a trip somewhere foreign but lacks the courage to carry out that wish.

I won't go into further detail as I do not want to spoil it, all I can say is READ THIS BOOK!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the title .......... 18 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
..... which makes it sound a bit Mills and Boon. This is a fascinating book about very exceptional and adventurous women- especially if you bear in mind the time they lived in. Any one of these women could be the subject of a great film (if no-one's already done it) My only criticism is the lack of illustrations, which would have given a much more rounded idea of what these women (and their husbands/lovers) were like.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 20 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Easily the best value, it arrived promptly and It was as good as I hoped it would be. Thank you
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book concerns a very interesting subject however it is ruined by the rather irritating way the author writes and goes off tangent all the time.
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