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Women

PDF A scholarly romantic, Lesley Blanch influenced and inspired generations of writers, readers and critics. Her first book, The Wilder Shores of Love — the stories of four ninteenth-century women who followed the beckoning Eastern star — pioneered a new kind of group biography focusing on women escaping the boredom of convention. An instant classic, it has remained in print in English since first publication in 1954. Lesley Blanch was ahead of her time and prescient in the way she attempted to bridge West and East.

Savvy, self-possessed and talented, Blanch did what she wanted and earned a good living at a time when women were expected to stay at home and be subservient to the needs of husband and children. She was glamorous and stylish and, in her own unique way, distinctly powerful.

She knew something of the Middle East as it once was, before conflict and turmoil became the essence of relations between the Arab World and the West. The places she travelled to and which obsessed her are still newsworthy today: Russia, The Balkans, The Middle East, Turkey, Afghanistan.

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