Women On Adventure is a blog by K.L. Webber exploring our rich shared history of women's adventure writing. This curated collection of quotations showcases the opinions and experiences of influential female travellers in their own words.

“I suppose we may consider ourselves under arrest.”

March 26th.—Alas! alas! I suppose I must have forgotten to say “inshallah” when I wrote my journal last night, for dinner was hardly over, and the mares tied up and our beds laid, when a sound of shouting in the direction of Bir announced that some people were coming our way. For a moment we deluded ourselves with the vain hope that it might be robbers, or merely some of the Abu-Kamís going home, but our hearts misgave us already that something worse had happened. In a few minutes four zaptiehs appeared at the door of the servants' tent, piled their arms in front of the fire, and sat down. Neither Wilfrid nor I had the heart to inquire what the meaning of this was, but Mohammed shortly afterward came to our tent with the message, which we guessed before it was out of his lips. The Pasha had sent an express with orders that we were to proceed no farther, but to wait for the caravan, which would arrive to-morrow, and then we should receive further instructions. The news sounded very ominously, and Wilfrid said to me in English, “I suppose we may consider ourselves under arrest.” […] 

Full of gloomy forebodings, the least of which was an immediate return under escort to Deyr, and the worst a summary execution as Russian spies, we passed a miserable night, sometimes dreaming wildly of flight on our mares, sometimes of bribing the zaptiehs, and sometimes of resistance by force of arms. But in the morning more prudent counsels prevailed, and we agreed to wait for the caravan and learn the worst. 

Bandar Dayyer - Palmyra, 1878


Source: Lady Anne Blunt, Bedouin Tribes of the Euphrates, New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1879

Further links:





Lady Anne Blunt, Rosemary Archer & James Fleming (Eds), Lady Anne Blunt Journals and Correspondance 1878 - 1915, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire: A.Heriot, 1986

Lisa Lacy, Lady Anne Blunt in the Middle East: Travel, Politics and the Idea of Empire, I.B. Taurus & Co. Ltd, 2017

"...perfect ninnies, so unlike my dear flying squirrel at Simla."

"No one expects literature in a book of travel."