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The Lycian Shore (Travel Classics)

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Freya Stark, along with Gertrude Bell, was the greatest woman traveller of the 20th century - she was also one of the finest travel writers and inspired a whole generation who followed her. Here, she combines her sense of adventure with a unique eye for history and landscape.


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Freya Stark, along with Gertrude Bell, was the greatest woman traveller of the 20th century - she was also one of the finest travel writers and inspired a whole generation who followed her. Here, she combines her sense of adventure with a unique eye for history and landscape.

30 review for The Lycian Shore (Travel Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave Clarke

    after falling in love with her style and passion for travel from reading 'the gates of southern arabia', I was slightly disappointed to see that she became a more verbose author, playing to a clique, that of course no longer exists ... that said, as one familiar with the stretch of coast they traverse, it was a fascinating insight into the last days of undeveloped innocence, before the money from tourism linked Lycia in a way that Alexander could only have dreamed off ... as well as leaving many after falling in love with her style and passion for travel from reading 'the gates of southern arabia', I was slightly disappointed to see that she became a more verbose author, playing to a clique, that of course no longer exists ... that said, as one familiar with the stretch of coast they traverse, it was a fascinating insight into the last days of undeveloped innocence, before the money from tourism linked Lycia in a way that Alexander could only have dreamed off ... as well as leaving many unanswered questions, like the fortune telling snake people of what is now Fethiye ...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Freya Stark was an explorer and writer who travelled across the Middle East, often visiting rarely explored areas. She was a determined individual who didn’t mind getting a few scrapes when trying to get to a coveted destination: Brambles, the prickly holly-oak and spiky thickets of acacia grew thick as we reached the ruins where the city streets once led. A Roman bath with brick outlines to its arches fed a tree on its high wall; near it stood a small temple, with four fluted engaged columns Freya Stark was an explorer and writer who travelled across the Middle East, often visiting rarely explored areas. She was a determined individual who didn’t mind getting a few scrapes when trying to get to a coveted destination: Brambles, the prickly holly-oak and spiky thickets of acacia grew thick as we reached the ruins where the city streets once led. A Roman bath with brick outlines to its arches fed a tree on its high wall; near it stood a small temple, with four fluted engaged columns and a door between them. All here was hard to reach because of growing trees, and barriers of thorns laid to keep the cattle in small enclosures. We struggled, scratched and bruised, and lost ourselves and each other, and finally emerged over the blocks of a fallen scene into a grey stone theatre, roughened and mossed over by time. The Lycian Shore is a lovely travelogue of sailing along the Turkish coast with evocative descriptions of rambles among the ancient ruins. Stark obviously had a great love of history and the book delves into the past, from the Persians to the Romans. One of my favourite travel memoirs - filled with eloquent passages of journeys into time and space.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    My first Freya Stark, an author I've been longing to read. Unfortunately, from what I gather, this isn't the most accessible or representative book of her writings. She is mostly writing about 3th and 4th century BC Greece. On this (mostly) boat journey she is usually referencing scholarly works in relation to the sites she is visiting. Unless you're somewhat knowledgeable in the history and characters it's a struggle to get much out of it. She doesn't offer much context or explanations. While I'm My first Freya Stark, an author I've been longing to read. Unfortunately, from what I gather, this isn't the most accessible or representative book of her writings. She is mostly writing about 3th and 4th century BC Greece. On this (mostly) boat journey she is usually referencing scholarly works in relation to the sites she is visiting. Unless you're somewhat knowledgeable in the history and characters it's a struggle to get much out of it. She doesn't offer much context or explanations. While I'm interested in the subject, I glossed over much of it. Having said that, there were some things I found interesting and when she delved into describing the voyage and sites themselves and some of her inner thoughts it becomes a much more engaging read. I definitely want to read more by her. I believe it's her Arabian travels that she's highly regarded for.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    Freya Stark's travelogues tend to be rather difficult to get hold of, but I managed to pick up a copy of The Lycian Shore, in which she describes her journey of travelling around the coast of Turkey by yacht, 'following in the wake of the Greeks and Persians', for 25 pence in a charity shop. Whilst I love travel literature, I had never read any of Stark's work before picking this up. Arguably, The Lycian Shore is more about Greek history than anything else, and myth and history certainly oversha Freya Stark's travelogues tend to be rather difficult to get hold of, but I managed to pick up a copy of The Lycian Shore, in which she describes her journey of travelling around the coast of Turkey by yacht, 'following in the wake of the Greeks and Persians', for 25 pence in a charity shop. Whilst I love travel literature, I had never read any of Stark's work before picking this up. Arguably, The Lycian Shore is more about Greek history than anything else, and myth and history certainly overshadowed the travelogue part rather a lot, but Stark's intelligent prose made this an enjoyable book. I do prefer Rose Macaulay's travel books thus far, but will certainly be picking up more of Stark's books as and when I find them.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Peters

    An interesting overview of Freya’s journey, and much better than Balfour’s recounting of the same trip. Freya displays her customary genuine passion for history and her interest in those she encounters while travelling, resulting in a wonderful blend of old and new storytelling. This particular book gets a bit esoteric at times, though it’s generally enjoyable and adds nicely to the travellers history of this fascinating coast.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Beluosus

    Last winter (2006) I read her Ionia, which I had picked up at the Seattle Public Library Book Sale, and really loved it. I put it off for a long time because I don’t really like travel writing, but it’s more history than anything, and she’s a brilliant and emotive writer. When I saw she had written on Lycia, I had to seek it out, as it’s one of my minor obsessions. The Lycian Shore, in modern parlance, is entirely made of awesome.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Velvetink

    Freya Stark was mentioned in To War with Whitaker By Hermoine Ranfurly. They met during WW2.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    This is the second book I have read by Freya Stark, and the second in what I understand to be a sort of trilogy (starting with Ionia, and ending with Alexander's Path), which documents her travels in Turkey during the 1950s. It doesn't exactly make for easy reading, but as with its predecessor, the qualities that make it so inscrutable are also its greatest strengths. This is a window into Freya's imagination, which flits between the present and past, seemingly without warning. Whilst the histor This is the second book I have read by Freya Stark, and the second in what I understand to be a sort of trilogy (starting with Ionia, and ending with Alexander's Path), which documents her travels in Turkey during the 1950s. It doesn't exactly make for easy reading, but as with its predecessor, the qualities that make it so inscrutable are also its greatest strengths. This is a window into Freya's imagination, which flits between the present and past, seemingly without warning. Whilst the history might be easier to digest if I were more informed on the subject - even a tenth as much as Freya seems to be would do! - the true joy of reading these accounts is to immerse yourself in her metaphor-laden descriptions of the Turkish coastline, and the people she met upon its shores.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Even better than I remembered it. This is not, repeat not, a roadway map, listing and checking boxes of the stops made and goals achieved. “A flock was trickling down the hillside, in scattered groups like drops towards the stream. It is always the image of the flock in the New Testament: no external compulsion holds it, and the partnership of the faithful is never a unity constrained in walls. The closed door is the image used for exclusion or death.” No, in keeping with the mode of transport, a Even better than I remembered it. This is not, repeat not, a roadway map, listing and checking boxes of the stops made and goals achieved. “A flock was trickling down the hillside, in scattered groups like drops towards the stream. It is always the image of the flock in the New Testament: no external compulsion holds it, and the partnership of the faithful is never a unity constrained in walls. The closed door is the image used for exclusion or death.” No, in keeping with the mode of transport, a thirty-three foot motorsailor on a consular journey, it is a meditation on the deep history, like deep water, that closes over every headland, every bay, estuary, harbor and town along that stretch of coast which is now Turkey, but once bore names known throughout the western world as Ionia, Lycia, and the Greek Isles. Freya Stark was born into a time when basic schooling included a thorough grounding in the history of western civilization, and also the languages that formed it, Greek and Latin. When she finds carved inscriptions from Alexander the Great’s time, or those of the Romans, she reads them out. And she knows their stories. She literally reads that coast. And then she climbs out of the boat and sees places. It’s a wonderful read; one not galloped through, but wandered through and thought about. A good break from books with “story arcs”, climactic scenes, big reveals. “Perhaps, I thought as I rode along, this is the very point where the Greek path, after the fifth century, began to turn downhill. The Greeks too accepted a world greater than themselves in the early Ionian days and the centuries that followed; its walls were out of sight and they made willingly towards them. Only when knowledge could detect, or feel that it detected, a boundary, did the pressure of the cage begin to close. Then happiness was at an end, until the horizon could be widened once more to lead beyond human knowledge, for the nomad dies in prison, and so does a man, in a world that he feels too small.”

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tim Clifford

  11. 4 out of 5

    John

  12. 4 out of 5

    Burcu Cinli

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steve Cook

  14. 4 out of 5

    Umbereen Beg-mirza

  15. 5 out of 5

    Paul Kelly

  16. 4 out of 5

    Iain Boyd

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

  18. 5 out of 5

    Len Hayter

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  20. 5 out of 5

    Donna Nincic

  21. 5 out of 5

    RedSaab

  22. 4 out of 5

    Burak Takmer

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anna Craig

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vasilis Antonioy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paul James Barclay

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Majaro

  28. 4 out of 5

    Owen

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Keogh

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Healey

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