Lecture: ‘Ruins and Romance: Early Women Travellers in the Middle East’

Charity & Not For Profit Creative Arts Indigenous & Heritage

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  • Date:
  • Location: St Mary’s Church Hall, Tewantin 4565 Queensland
1. Artist Joseph Karl Stieler (1831); 2. Artist unknown. Images: Jane Digby and Sue Rollin

Extraordinary Women – Extraordinary Adventures:  18th & 19th Century Female Travellers to the Middle East.

Venturing to far-flung places that even European men were reluctant to visit, a number of women some three centuries ago hitched up their petticoats and travelled to the Middle East.  These women were inspirational:  curious, brave and in some instances flirtatious.  

Lady Mary Wortly Montague scandalised London society by joining her husband on his posting to Turkey in 1716.  There she discovered a local ‘inoculation’ for small pox and brought this knowledge back to the UK.  Lady Hester Stanhope, the first European woman to visit Palmyra, left England in 1810 and was acknowledged as the first amateur female archeologist.  Shipwrecked on Rhodes she abandoned European social mores and dressed in more practical male clothing.  She eventually settled in a disused monastery on a hilltop in Lebanon where she died 29 years later.  Jane Digby’s life was a tumultuous quest for love and adventure.  She had multiple husbands, lovers and children – and finally found contentment with an Arab sheik – the first in the Saud lineage, and died in Damascus in 1881.

On Saturday 27 August, a specialist lecturer from the UK, Ms Sue Rollin, will give a talk:  “Ruins and Romance:  Early Women Travellers in the Middle East” to members of ADFAS Noosa.  Ms Rollin works as a tour guide and lecturer in India and the Middle East, and as a freelance interpreter for the European Union, United Nations and other international organisations. Formerly she was a staff interpreter at the European Commission, Brussels, and tutor and lecturer in Assyriology and Ancient History at the Universities of London and Cambridge.   

Ms Rollin has also worked as an archaeologist.  Her publications are two travel guides, 'Blue Guide: Jordan' and 'Istanbul: A Traveller's Guide'.  She has led several popular tours to India, Central Asia, Turkey and the Middle East.

ADFAS (Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society) Australia comprises 38 societies and is modeled on the successful UK arts appreciation organisation NADFAS.  ADFAS Noosa Inc hosts Saturday afternoon lectures on a monthly basis for its members and guests at St Mary’s Church in Tewantin to which visitors are very welcome – a $25 entry fee on the door applies.  For further information call 5448 2394.


Title:  Lecture: ‘Ruins and Romance:  Early Women Travellers in the Middle East’
Lecturer:  Ms Sue Rollin
Date:  Saturday 27 August 2016
Time:  3.45 pm for 4.00 pm
Venue:  St Mary’s Church Hall, 17 William Street, Tewantin
Fee:  $25 for visitors: bookings essential
Bookings:  Sharon Hyde 5448 2394, slhyde53@gmail.com

Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Society Noosa Inc

Australian and Decorative Fine Arts Society Noosa Inc :
PO Box 481, Noosa Junction
Australian and Decorative Fine Arts Society Noosa Inc

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St Mary’s Church Hall, Tewantin

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