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Lady Hester Stanhope
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This is the fantastic true story of Pitt the Younger's niece, Lady Hester Stanhope, who, at the turn of the eighteenth century left her homeland and travelled through Cairo, Jaffa, Damascus, Palmyra - braving bandit-infested territories to visit cities which seldom been seen by Europeans and charming a series of murderous despots. In 1810, after the death of her uncle and that of the man she loved, Hester left England for the east, never to return. She was thirty-three. Her retinue included a private physician and her young lover. In Jaffa, she showed her utter fearlessness for the first but by no means the last time by demanding, and receiving, the protection of the bandit-in-chief when crossing the dangerous countryside to Jerusalem. By the time her caravan approached the foothills of Mount Lebanon, the Englishwoman had largely disappeared. In her place was a mannish figure who wore a species of male oriental clothing, smoked a bubbly narghila, and could swear at her mule drivers in