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Dame Freya Madeline Stark (1893-1993), Traveller and writer

Sitter in 6 portraits
Brought up in Italy, her life of travelling began when she was thirty-four. Inspired by T.E. Lawrence, she went to Lebanon in 1927 to learn Arabic. She became an authority on the Middle East, and was awarded the medals of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1934, and the Royal Geographic Society, 1942. During the Second World War her understanding of the Arab world informed a successful anti-Axis propaganda campaign. She was in the siege of the British Embassy in Baghdad in 1941. Of her thirty books, The Valley of the Assassins (1934) and Beyond Euphrates (1951) are the best known. After every journey she returned home to Asolo, a town in the Veneto.

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5465

Dame Freya Madeline Stark

by Herbert Arnould Olivier
oil on canvas, 1923
NPG 5465

x87284

Dame Freya Madeline Stark

by Malcolm Bell Jr
colour print, March 1975
NPG x87284

x87285

Dame Freya Madeline Stark

by Malcolm Bell Jr
colour print, April 1979
NPG x87285

x87286

Dame Freya Madeline Stark

by Malcolm Bell Jr
colour print, April 1979
NPG x87286

P750

Dame Freya Madeline Stark

by Robert Mapplethorpe
bromide print laid on card, 1975
NPG P750

x13757

Dame Freya Madeline Stark

by Tara Heinemann
bromide print, July 1980
NPG x13757