Various places: Delhi, Baghdad, Asolo, Aden, Cairo, London, Cyrenaica, etc: 1935 to 1979.
4to and smaller. Generally very good. Provenance: Jane Geniesse, author of Passionate Nomad (Random House, 1999). Item #314912
A substantial archive of unpublished letters of Freya Stark (1893-1993), author and intrepid traveller in the greater Middle East who moved in military and intelligence circles during the war years. Stark wrote a multi-volume autobiography and an edition of her collected letters was published in eight volumes, 1974-82. The letters to long time family friend LUCY BEACH were only discovered in September 1994, postdating publication of the collected letters and also Molly Izzard’s revisionist biography. Jane Geniesse made highly selective use of some of these letters in Passionate Nomad (1999), and also accumulated other notable groups of correspondence during her researches, from Peggy Drower and her mother, from Minnie Granville, and material from Sir Sydney Cockerell (including letters from Flora Stark to him; and from Lucy Beach to him), as well as biographer Molly Izzard.
* Lucy BEACH
— Collection of 47 A.L.s., FS to Lucy Beach, Delhi, Baghdad, Asolo, London, Cyrenaica, etc., 1943 to 1957. A detailed calendar is available.
— A.N.s. (postcard), FS to Lucy Beach, 1967
— A.L.s., FS to John Beach (son of Lucy Beach), 1 page, Asolo, 27/11/77
— A.L.s., FS to John Beach, 1 page, Asolo, 20/9/79
— A group of A.L.s.1994-1999, John Beach to Jane Geniesse, reporting the discovery of the letters (2 September 1994), conveying the above materials, etc., : “the letters constitute a diary as intended. The Starks and Lucy & John were close.”
* Sir Sydney Carlyle COCKERELL (1867–1962), director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, collector, and man of letters (see also Starkiana)
– A.N.s. (postcard), London 1961, requesting a meeting; with Cockerell’s retained memo pad from a conversation with her while he was temporarily stone deaf: 18 pp., FS remarks in her hand, annotated in black ink by Cockerell
* Stefana DROWER [Ethel Stefana Stevens, Lady DROWER] (1879-1972), author of The Mandaeans of Iraq and Syria (1937), novelist, anthropologist, and friend of Stark in Arabia; mother of Peggy Drower https://treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/ethel-stefana-drower/
— 11 A.L.s. & 1 A.N.s. (postcard), FS to Stefana, 1935-1939, Arabia, Asolo, Aleppo
— corrected typescript of an article on Shaykh Ajil of the Shammar (likely by Stefana Drower)
* Peggy DROWER [Margaret Stefana Hackforth-Jones, née DROWER] (1911-2012), sometime research assistant to Stark, historian of ancient near eastern history and egyptology, biographer of Flinders Petrie
— 15 A.L.s., FS to Peggy or Peg, 1935 to 1949, plus two carbon T.L.s. from Peggy to FS (1945 & 1946) and related ephemera, including an inventory of Stark’s possessions in Baghdad
— a long A.L.s. to Peggy from “Ronnie”, in Zamalek, Cairo, 1947, on the Ikhwan and other topics
— T.L.s. from Peggy Drower to Molly Izzard, 1980
— T.L.s. and A.N.s. from Peggy Drower to Jane Geniesse, 1993, with a draft typescript essay/memoir
* Minnie Gray GRANVILLE (via Sydney Cockerell)
— 7 A.L.s.,, FS to Dear Minnie, 1935-1943, Aden, Cairo, Asolo, Baghdad
* Molly IZZARD (1919-2004), author and biographer of FS
— 3 A.L.s., FS to Molly Izzard (1 lengthy), A.N.s. (postcard), Asolo, 1979
* FS, Carbon typescript discussion of British Palestine policy 22.12.43, 2 pp.; with: Britain’s Mandate for Palestine, British Information Services IDH 497, 7 pp., duplicated typescript, dated at end 8 Feb. 1944
* Typescript of Address by Miss Freya Stark, to the Canadian Club, Vancouver Hotel, 1 March 1944, 17 pp., carbon typescript.
* Flora STARK, mother of Freya, who went to stay with the Beaches in California after being released from Italian prison, and who died in California in 1942
— 6 A.L.s. and 2 A.N.s. (postcards), Flora Stark to Sir Sydney COCKERELL, Asolo and California, 1934 to 1942
* Sir Sydney COCKERELL
— Notes and File of correspondence re: FS, 1930s and 1940s, incl. Lucy Beach (4 lengthy A.L.s.), Gertrude Caton-Thompson (with drafts of SC Letters to FS, 1939 — “the GCT motif is as injurious to your book as a maggot in a ripe pear”), Mrs. Gray Granville, Susan D. M. Waller, Admiral Goodenough, Katherine Woolley, John Grey Murray, Anne Lawrence (confirming birth & childhood of FS); also concerning FLORA STARK and her DIARY (published after the war)
* Lucy BEACH
— Substantial correspondence from Gwendolen, Lady IVEAGH, to Lucy Beach, 1940 to 1947 (reports news from Asolo, &c)
— photograph of two young women weaving at the Tessoria in Asolo
— memorial card for Herbert Hammerton Young, 28 May 1941
— the Beach family copy of An Italian Diary (presented to Jane Geniesse)
— press clippings for Traveller’s Prelude, London papers, 1950
* Molly IZZARD
— Christopher SCAIFE resident in Italy, formerly professor of English at Cairo Univ. during war years, 3 long autograph letters 1979/80, drunken scrawls to biographer Molly IZZARD, recalling egotism of Freya Stark, her involvement in the Ikhwan al Hurriyah as “Sister Superior”, also candid assessment of Stark & Perowne’s marriage
— Envelope of miscellaneous correspondence to IZZARD re: FS
* Ikhwan al-Hurriyah, Baghdad (British propaganda initiative)
— Bulletin no. 183, May 16, 1945, 3 pp., duplicated typescript, News of V Day in Europe, message sent “to Ikhwan in Egypt, to our sister Society in Palestine, and to the Friends of Freedom in Aden”.
— Bulletin no. 197, August 22, 1945, 3 pp., duplicated typescript, on Drainage, Nutrition, and “The Limited Aim”: “It has often been objected that our society is too limited in its aims … it is our belief that the kind of society we desire to establish can only be built up on a healthy basis if the members are content at first to work for those aims, limited though they may be, set out in Rule 2 of the Society’s Regulations.”
* OMAGGIO A FREYA STARK, invitation for film showing, Asolo 26 May 1984, and duplicated circular, Dame Freya Stark, 2 pp.. Annotations by JG “An example of the inflation of F’s record & achievements, some just not true …”
* Jane GENIESSE
— File of correspondence relating to Freya Stark, including letters from numerous friends of FS, including: Veronica Bamfield, 2 T.L.s., 1994, 1999; David John Cecil BERENS (b. 1939), 4 A.L.s. (“Henry”), 1990, one naming guests at FS 70th birthday party; Henry E. CATTO, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James 1989-91, 4 A.N.s., 1990; Nigel CLIVE (1917-2001), soldier and intelligence officer, tenant of FS in Baghdad, 3 A.L.s., 1990-93; Pamela COOPER (1910-2006), 5 A.L.s, 1990-99; Martin GILLIAT (1913-1993), soldier, private secretary to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, 1 A.L.s. conveying recollections of a visit to Asolo and FS visit to the Orkneys, 2 December 1989, and 2 T.L.s., 1990; E.C. HODGKIN, 6 A.L.s., 1990-99; John Julius Norwich, T.L.s, 1989; B. LARSSON (wife of Theo LARSSON, author of SEVEN PASSPORTS FOR PALESTINE) 21 A.L.s, 1990-99; Hugh LEACH (1934-2015) soldier and diplomat, and author, 2 A.L.s., 1993; Caroline MOOREHEAD, daughter of Lucy Moorehead, editor of the Collected Letters, 3 T.L.s, 3 A.N.s., 1990s; John MOOREHEAD, 2 A.N.S., 1990s; Diana MURRAY (4 A.N.s.), Jock MURRAY (4 A.N.s.), John G. MURRAY (1 A.N.s., 2 T.L.s.), publishers; Leslie PEROWNE (1906-1997), brother of Stewart Perowne, T.L.s., 1990, with memorial order of service, 1997; Hermione RANFURLY (1913-2011), warime resident of Cairo, diarist, author of To War with Whitaker (1994), A.L.s., 1994; Sir Steven RUNCIMAN (1903-2000), historian, 6 A.L.s., 1989-93, including JG notes of interview, 8 October 1990; Malise RUTHVEN, scholar and author of numerous books, including three collections of FS photos in the middle east, 4 A.L.s., 1 T.L.s., 1989-1993; Hélène WALKER, Little Switzerland, Ashfield, Mass., 4 A.L.s., 1989-93, recalling Asolo; Richard WALLER, son of Dorothy Waller, old friends of FS from Chagford, Devon, 4 A.L.s., including lengthy answer to JG questions; and approx. 45 others.
Freya STARK to Lucy BEACH : Calendar of letters page 1 of 3
1) 23 Feb. 1943 New Delhi 6 pp.
2) 11 Apr. 1943 Baghdad 7 pp., “Keep all my letters till after war & eventually for Murrays”
3) 6 June 1943 Baghdad 2 pp., “Making speeches in Arabic on Democracy to 2 or more
gatherings a day”
4) 28 Feb. 1944 Victoria, B.C. 2 pp., Speeches, Hecklers
5) 8 Mar. 1944 Broken Hill Ranch, Creston, B.C. 2 pp., Father’s farm to be sold;
Vancouver speeches (not signed)
6) 16 Apr. 1944 Washington, D.C. 2 pp., “Congressman stood up and called me names”
7) 30 Apr. 1944 Washington, D.C. 2 pp.
8) 25 May 1944 West Newton, Mass. 3 pp., met with Beach family; speeches in Boston
9) 14 Jul. 1944 London 2 pp.
10) 3 Sep. 1944 Chagford, 2 pp., “I have now reached the last quarter of my book”
11) 7 Oct. 1944 Chagford, 2 pp., “as if those horrible people are looting everything. What one
hears from Greece is hardly to be borne”; with circular advertisement of the
Stark Ranch in B.C.
12) 30 Oct. 1944 Chagford, 2 pp.
13) 3 Dec. 1944 [Ledbury] 2 pp., “the book is done”
14) 13 Feb. 1945 New Delhi 4 pp.
15) 13 May 1945 Simla 8 pp.
16) 11 Jun. 1945 New Delhi 4 pp.
17) 18 Aug. 1945 Asolo 3 pp., tessoria and disaster of fascism
18) 6 Oct. 1945 Asolo 2 pp.
19) 5 Nov. 1945 Asolo 4 pp., more on tessoria
20) 12 Dec. 1945 Asolo 2 pp., English reading centres in Italy
21) 18 Jan. 1946 Asolo 3 pp., “the black market is so general that it ceases to be a black market”
22) 12 Feb. 1946 Asolo 2 pp.
23) 28 Feb. 1946 Asolo 4 pp., “necessary to have a paper certifying the date & place of my
mother’s death”; “I have started 24 reading centres in various towns”
24) 9 Mar.1946 Asolo 2 pp., “The parcel has come. Such a fairyland opening it. Sugar & coffee,
beef essence, rennet, gelatine, soup, soyabeans — all complete.”
25) 25 Apr. 1946 Asolo 2 pp., “A lovely parcel … You can’t think what a feeling these parcel
give of a hand stretched across the ocean.”
Freya STARK to Lucy BEACH : Calendar of letters page 2 of 3
26) 1 Jun. 1946 Asolo 2 pp., “I don’t know which I am more grateful for, the hot water bottle or
27) 18 Jun. 1946 Asolo 2 pp., “So lovely to be able to distribute such things here now.”
28) 31 Jan. 1947 London 2 pp., “I have kept the little tins of coffee for the nice little woman
in Paris who is making me a dress”
29) 5 Mar. 1947 Asolo 2 pp., “I just concentrate on the tessoria & feel that if I can keep that
alive”; half a sheet (not signed)
30) 2 Jul. 1947 Asolo 4 pp.
31) 23 Jul. 1949 Asolo 2 pp., “They are trying to keep Stewart out all winter … Everyone here
remembers you with affection”
32) 28 Jul. 1949 Asolo 2 pp., “trying to clear the decks for starting the next book this winter
(it means reading through twelve enormous packages of letters)”
33) 9 Aug. 1949 Passo di Carezza 2 pp. (faint inking)
34) 12 May 1950 Bengazi 2 pp., “we are as far from anywhere by post as we were in
35) 1 Jun. 1950 Bengazi 4 pp., “Stewart has been sent here as chief adviser to the
government of the Senussis for 5 years”
36) 11 Nov. 1950 Bengazi 2 pp., “It has had very good reviews & I think Murrays have
presented it as well as could be”
37) 29 Nov. 1950 Bengazi 4 pp., “Asolo never seems complete without you”
38) 21 Mar. 1953 Asolo 2 pp., vol. II of the autobiography is in proof & comes out in the autumn”
39) 28 Apr. 1951 Asolo 2 pp., “I am now struggling to finish vol. III of the autobiography”
40) 4 Jun. 1951 Asolo 2 pp., news of people in Asolo
41) 7 Jan. 1952 Paris
42) 13 Mar. 1952 Asolo 2 pp. on letterhead of I Tatti, news of separation, “I couldn’t go on with
it, with no feeling of intimacy or cosiness”
43) 4 Dec. 1952 Cyprus2 pp., “just got out of Turkey & am on my slow way back to Asolo,
spending Xmas here with two friends, & then 10 days in Rome & a week
more with Berenson”
44) 2 Feb. 1953 Asolo 3 pp., “to see the Coronation (I have been offered a place in a window) &
then to spend two months in England”
45) 15 Jun. 1953 Fontmell Magna, Dorset 2 pp., unforgettable to be in London over the
46) 19 Sep. 1953 Asolo 2 pp., “As for Stewart, I have dedicated my book to him & spoken
nicely about him … Did I tell you that I got my CBE pinned on by the
Queen before I left”
Freya STARK to Lucy BEACH : Calendar of letters page 3 of 3
47) 23 July 1957 Asolo 2 pp., “I have finished my book & took it to London … Can you imagine!
I was invited to lunch with the Queen”
48) [28 Dec. 1966] Asolo postcard, “my house is intact & all the lands around, except bridges,
many washed away … wishes for 1967”
With 6 archive boxes comprising Geniesse’s notes and transcripts of interviews, working drafts, corrected duplicated proofs of Passionate Nomad, and related production and permissions files.
Price: $22,500.00 Free International Delivery