The Desert Queen

A sweeping historical novel based on the life of Lady Hester Stanhope! Perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier, Maggie O’Farrell, Hilary Mantel, and Margaret George.

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About the Book

An unconventional noblewoman sets out on an incredible journey…

England, 1790

Treated as a servant by her autocratic father, spirited Lady Hester Stanhope longs for escape and adventure. A dreamer with a vivid imagination, tomboyish Hester cares little for social conventions.

As the favourite niece of Prime Minister William Pitt, as a young woman she acts as his hostess at Downing Street, becoming the toast of London. But when the love of her life, Sir John Moore, is killed in the Napoleonic Wars, a heartbroken Hester seeks solace in travel, embarking on an epic tour of Europe and the Middle East.

Along the way her bohemian ways and defiance of propriety are the object of much scandal, as she refuses to wear the veil, dons Turkish male attire and embarks on an affair with her travelling companion Michael Bruce. And she astonishes the world yet again when she decides to excavate the ancient settlement of Ascalon in search of rumoured treasure, using archaeological techniques way ahead of their time.

A born crusader who fights fearlessly for the oppressed, Hester is hailed as a queen by the desert people. Her magnetic personality bewitches everyone she meets, but eventually even her most ardent supporters begin to tire of her mercurial temperament…

After turning her back on society for so long, can Hester finally learn to let people in?Or, as her supporters begin to desert her, is she paving the way to a lonely future?

Is Hester’s remarkable story destined to end in loneliness and heartache?

THE DESERT QUEEN is a thrilling and poignant historical biographical novelof Lady Hester Stanhope that vividly depicts the adventures of a pioneering Englishwoman explorer.

‘Colourful mixture of T. E. Lawrence and Elinor Glyn.’ The Sunday Times

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