New book: Edith and I; on the trail of an Edwardian traveller in Kosovo

Following the recent interview of Elizabeth Gowing on Radio 4  about Edith Durham and her new book: “Edith and I; on the trail of an Edwardian traveller in Kosovo”,now this book is available in paperback and Kindle.

More about the book

What if a woman from a century ago could help you understand your life now? Edith and I; on the trail of an Edwardian traveller in Kosovo tells the story of how tracking down anthropologist, aid worker and feisty Balkan explorer, Edith Durham, took her biographer to places and decisions she never thought she’d reach.

It’s the story of two Kosovo journeys a century apart. In 1900, Europe’s last wilderness was explored by a most unlikely champion, a stout, stubborn Englishwoman who travelled in her tam o’shanter across the Accursed Mountains into Kosovo. Edith Durham was dubbed ‘Queen of the Highlanders’ by the Albanians who honoured her for her anthropological writing, her humanitarian aid and her tireless lobbying for their cause.

One hundred years later, Elizabeth Gowing came to Kosovo and also fell in love with the country. Dividing her time between there and London, she thought that no-one would understand her identity crisis; but as Elizabeth unravels Edith’s story through archives and museum collections in Britain and retraces Edith’s steps in Kosovo she learns from her what she should do with her life.

Tracing the revelations in old diaries, jolting along Kosovan roads in a ‘motokultivator’, learning from Edith the secrets of the harem, and from monks the treasures of Unesco World Heritage Site monasteries, Elizabeth travels on Edith’s trail and ends up finding not only an Edwardian heroine but also a guide to her own very twenty-first century dilemma.

John McCarthy says of the book, ‘Elizabeth Gowing’s descriptions of people and places will have you wanting to head to Kosovo on the next available flight. Her passion for the country shines through her quest to discover the life of Edith Durham, another British woman who took Kosovo and Kosovars to her heart.’

Elizabeth’s first book, Travels in Blood and Honey; becoming a beekeeper in Kosovo (Signal Books, 2011) was described by The Times as ‘a sheer delight; a beguiling, bittersweet story of a lively love affair with a traditional world – in transition to new nationhood’, and by The Lady as ‘a bold, unique stride across genres – with a sense of humour and Famous Five enthusiasm’.

The book will appeal to travelers, lovers of biography and all those who’ve experienced the thrill of research into who do you think you are.