At a Glance
In honor of Women’s History Month, this series will celebrate four indefatigable English women who survived dangerous, sometimes near-death encounters — from menacing wildlife to knife-wielding assassins, from shipwrecks to cannibals! These plucky female trailblazers belonged to a rare breed of Britain’s aristocracy or upper middle-class society in an era when it was almost unheard of for a female to travel abroad unaccompanied by a man. Bucking social conventions, the intrepid female explorers of this four-part lecture series embarked on journeys that would often take them to some of the most misogynistic regions of the world. They would each come to be recognized for their fields of expertise — from archaeology to cartography, travel writing to public speaking and philology to diplomacy. In part one of this series, archaeologist and lecturer Nicholas Stavrinides focuses on the unconventional and colorful life of Lady Hester Stanhope. A globetrotting aristocrat and daughter of a prime minister, Hester’s travels culminated in her coronation as the reincarnated Queen Zenobia amid the ruins of the ancient Syrian oasis of Palmyra.