Untold Stories: 6 female globetrotters who made history
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Countless numbers of pioneering female adventurers have stories to tell; from the incredible and profound to the heartbreaking and damn-right crazy. But so many of these tales have become lost in time. So, today seems a good a day as any to tell a few of them.
Freya Stark (1893-1993) Born on the 31 st January 1893 in Paris, Freya Stark was the young prodigy of Flora, a Polish/German artist, and Robert, an English painter from Devon. Much of her early life was spent reading about the Middle East, teaching herself Latin and relishing in French literature. As she grew up, she decided to venture where very few Europeans, particularly women, had ever been before. A champion of travel and literature, Stark found herself in remote areas of Turkey, destitute regions of Baghdad and the wilderness of Iran, documenting her journeys as she went. She moved by car, on camels, and by foot, but eventually settled down to her Grandmother’s hometown of Asolo and passed away a few months after her 100th birthday. On her passing, she had been honoured as Dame Freya Stark and had authored more than 24 extraordinary travel books, containing some of the most accurate maps of the Middle East at the current time. Bessie Coleman (1892-1926) Just two years before her famous counterpart Amelia Earhart broke onto the scene, a young woman named Bessie Coleman became the first black female pilot in the world. After facing swathes of gender and racial discrimination in 1920s America, Coleman taught herself French and travelled from the States to attend piloting school in France. In 1921, Coleman got her licence and took to the skies; refusing to take part in any segregated events, she flew all across Europe and America, performing aerial stunts and teaching to raise funds for the African-American flying school.
Her life as a flying traveller was tragically cut short when she died during a practice run for an upcoming air show at the age of 34. Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) A woman of many firsts, Gertrude Bell let her expertise and sheer determination get her to the top of her profession, but also to the top of the world.
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