So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Scandalous Life: The Biography of Jane Digby el Mezrab

A Scandalous Life: The Biography of Jane Digby el Mezrab by Mary S. Lovell
Mary Lovell presents the scandalous life of Jane Digby in a detailed yet respectful way. She had access to family papers, so we get the inside personal view that her letters and journals provide, not the scandals and gossip of the press. It is a fascinating life for a 19th century British woman. At 17 she marries a wealthy but unloving husband, only to leave him when she falls in love with another man. After a divorce she is abandoned by her lover who cannot marry a divorced woman. She proceeds through continental Europe making a few more attempts at finding a place to call home. Always her famous beauty and outstanding personality wins her the devotion of men she doesn't love while the men she loves cannot provide her the legitimacy of marriage. Jane finally goes to Syria and marries a desert nomad half her age, living a strange double life as a muslim wife and an English lady expat spending months at a time in desert tents, but having houses in Damascus and Homs, places known to us today from news reports of the violent civil war.

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