Lucie Duff Gordon was a world apart from her Victorian counterparts. An intellectual, traveller, writer and progressive social commentator, she and her husband led a bohemian, eccentric and highly unconventional life in London, socialising with such luminaries as Tennyson, Dickens and Thackeray. In 1862, however, Lucie was diagnosed with tuberculosis and on the advice of her doctor, left her husband and three children to live in Egypt, where she would spend the rest of her life. Drawing on Duff Gordon's correspondence with her family, Katherine Frank elegantly relates the dramatic transformation that she underwent as she discarded the restrictions of Victorian England, shunned the English community in Cairo and immersed herself in the Egyptian way of life - 'the real, true Arabian nights'. Lucie Duff Gordon, Noor ala Noor 'light from the source of all light' as she later became, led an exceptional, luminous life, never afraid to step outside the boundaries of convention and explore the unknown.
Katherine Frank is a lecturer and acclaimed writer and biographer. She was a university lecturer for fifteen years before becoming a full-time writer, and she still lectures on a wide range of historical, political and biographical topics. She is the author of A Voyager Out (Tauris Parke Paperbacks), the highly acclaimed Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi, as well as a biography of Emily Bronte. She is currently writing a biography of Daniel Defoe.