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Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904) was born the daughter of a Russian emigres and raised in a climate of aristocratic anarchism. She reinvented herself as a desert Arab and a devout Muslim. She was a woman who preferred dressing like a boy and whose adventures – as a mystic, a connoiser of drugs, and a rumoured participant in sexual orgies – scandalised Europeans at the turn of the century. During her brief life she was a source of worried speculation to the French authorities in North Africa. After her death she became a legend: ‘the amazon of the Sahara’.

Reviews

She is firmly in control of her sensational material
GUARDIAN
All the intricate threads of her rebellious life are to be found in Annette Kobak's scrupulously researched book
DAILY TELEGRAPH
A wonderful book - instantly absorbing and beautifully written
BILL BRYSON
This impeccably researched biography is a thoughtful and illuminating study
SUNDAY TIMES