With such tantalizing chapters as "In Defence of Smuggling" and "Lunch with Homer," this is a witty, eye-opening tapestry of Freya Stark's writings on travel and a life spent as one of the twentieth century's most formidable adventurers. In chronological order, spanning an extraordinary 50 years from 1919 to 1967, Stark muses on the nature of travel and of being a woman—both writer and explorer—in what was then predominantly a male world. She also shares jewel-bright stories from across the world—Arabia to North Africa, Iran and India—that captivate the reader with every sentence. There are romantic picnics under starlit skies on remote islands, meaningful moments of quiet in Mecca and Jerusalem and heartfelt accounts of encounters with a kaleidoscope of people. The Zodiac Arch resurrects lost worlds, reveals a little of the woman behind the legend and is, at heart, a magnetic read for all those under the spell of wanderlust.