Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut” as Want to Read:
The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut

by
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In 1934, famed British traveler Freya Stark sailed down the Red Sea, alighting in Aden, located at the tip of the Arabian peninsula. From this backwater outpost, Stark set forth on what was to be her most unforgettable adventure: Following the ancient frankincense routes of the Hadhramaut Valley, the most fertile in Arabia, she sought to be the first Westerner to locate an ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 24th 2001 by Modern Library (first published 1936)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Southern Gates of Arabia, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Southern Gates of Arabia

West with the Night by Beryl MarkhamMy Journey to Lhasa by Alexandra David-NéelThe Valleys of the Assassins by Freya StarkStraight on Till Morning by Mary S. LovellEighty Days by Matthew Goodman
Trailblazing Women Adventurers
38th out of 206 books — 80 voters
Blood River by Tim ButcherA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonIn a Sunburned Country by Bill BrysonThe Great Railway Bazaar by Paul TherouxTravels with Charley by John Steinbeck
Have Passport Will Travel
117th out of 435 books — 404 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 388)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lauren
Freya Stark was a remarkable woman who travelled throughout the Middle East in the 1930’s. She was fluent in Arabic and Arabian history and wrote many popular travel books at a time when women did not travel alone. When travelling through Yemen, she hired members of local Bedouin tribes to guide her to historical regions, old villages, and along the ancient spice routes. The Hadhramaut region of Yemen is the home of the rare Frankincense tree from the species Boswellia. This is a humorous and de ...more
Marieke
I think this pretty much says it all:
"On the occasion of the arrival of the free and respected one, and of her honouring the court of our excellent school, I rise to welcome her happy visit to the abode of the noble Sharifs, the country of Al Ahqaf, the place of residence of our venerated ancestors and that where our forebears were born. Her spirit and firm courage are show to us inasmuch as she is the first woman to visit the province of Hadhramaut alone, without any companion of her own sex or
...more
Roxanne
In the early 1930s, Stark, a single British woman, traveled through southern Arabia alone, visiting country that few other Europeans had seen, particularly few women. This might sound incredibly dangerous, and it probably was, but Stark was helped along by her passion for Arabic history and her genuine interest in the people she met (as well as near fluency in Arabic, as far as I can tell), as well as her poise, charm, humor, and sense of adventure. She befriends bedouins and sheiks alike, as we ...more
Stuart
Later writers have snide things to say about her, but which other woman was riding about without a man to protect her in the back country east of Yemen back in the 1930's. And, she is a literate writer. Thus the 4 stars.

It's a quick read, but it is soooo personal, in contrast to all the geo-political tomes of today.
Yes, she heavily edited the friction out of this, but it's a great glimpse inside the closed society of the emirates area when significant remnants of the ancient economy and society
...more
Sarah
Maybe 3.5 stars, as I did feel my eyes glazing over from time to time, but generally I really enjoyed both her account, as well as the opportunity to read a description of a Middle Eastern region from a historical perspective.
Yrab
Beautiful. Especially suited to the 1980's in Manchester during a slow burning heroin habituation. Somehow nodding out didn't spoil a thing...
Juanita
Another intrepid traveller
in Araby. I so love these
people and the luck of living
when they did and the worlds
they got to see.
Velvetink
Freya Stark was mentioned in To War with Whitaker
By Hermoine Ranfurly. They met during WW2.
Nancy
Nancy marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2015
Melissa
Melissa marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2015
Woden1809
Woden1809 marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2015
Kldeighton
Kldeighton marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2015
Kate
Kate marked it as to-read
Apr 05, 2015
Mark Symons
Mark Symons marked it as to-read
Apr 02, 2015
Moominboy
Moominboy marked it as to-read
Apr 01, 2015
Amy
Amy marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2015
Kim Joyce
Kim Joyce marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2015
Sierra Chandler
Sierra Chandler marked it as to-read
Mar 23, 2015
Steve Murray
Steve Murray marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2015
Hend
Hend marked it as to-read
Mar 13, 2015
Staci
Staci added it
Mar 06, 2015
Keith
Keith marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2015
Elspeth
Elspeth marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2015
Alexa
Alexa marked it as to-read
Feb 28, 2015
Emmeviene
Emmeviene marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2015
Nadia
Nadia marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2015
Jenna
Jenna marked it as to-read
Feb 21, 2015
McGooglykins
McGooglykins is currently reading it
Feb 15, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark
  • Arabian Sands
  • Travels with a Tangerine: A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah
  • Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus
  • Prospero's Cell
  • From the Holy Mountain: A Journey among the Christians of the Middle East
  • Motoring with Mohammed: Journeys to Yemen and the Red Sea
  • The Road to Oxiana
  • On the Grand Trunk Road
  • The Desert and the Sown: The Syrian Adventures of the Female Lawrence of Arabia
  • When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World: The Rise and Fall of Islam's Greatest Dynasty
  • News From Tartary
  • Passenger to Teheran
  • Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese
  • Travels With Myself and Another
  • Travels in West Africa
  • Trieste and The Meaning of Nowhere
  • The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
62875
Freya Stark was born in Paris, where her parents were studying art. Her mother, Flora, was an Italian of Polish/German descent; her father, Robert, an English painter from Devon.

In her lifetime she was famous for her experiences in the Middle East, her writing and her cartography. Freya Stark was not only one of the first Western women to travel through the Arabian deserts (Hadhramaut), she often
...more
More about Freya Stark...
The Valleys of the Assassins: and Other Persian Travels A Winter in Arabia Baghdad Sketches (Travel) The Journey's Echo: Selections from Freya Stark (Travels) Ionia: A Quest

Share This Book