« Three Centuries of Travel Writing by Muslim Women »/Siobhan Lambert-Hurley/Daniel Majchrowicz/Sunil Sharma

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Editors Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Daniel Majchrowicz, and Sunil Sharma recover, translate, annotate, and provide historical and cultural context for the 17th- to 20th-century writings of Muslim women travelers in ten different languages.

May 22, 2024

When thinking of intrepid travelers from past centuries, we don’t usually put Muslim women at the top of the list. And yet, the stunning firsthand accounts in this collection completely upend preconceived notions of who was exploring the world.

Editors Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Daniel Majchrowicz, and Sunil Sharma recover, translate, annotate, and provide historical and cultural context for the 17th- to 20th-century writings of Muslim women travelers in ten different languages. Queens and captives, pilgrims and provocateurs, these women are diverse. Their connection to Islam is wide-ranging as well, from the devout to those who distanced themselves from religion. What unites these adventurers is a concern for other women they encounter, their willingness to record their experiences, and the constant thoughts they cast homeward even as they traveled a world that was not always prepared to welcome them.

Perfect for readers interested in gender, Islam, travel writing, and global history, Three Centuries of Travel Writing by Muslim Women provides invaluable insight into how these daring women experienced the world—in their own voices.

Edited by Siobhan Lambert-HurleyDaniel Majchrowicz and Sunil Sharma

Contributions by Asiya AlamAndrew AmstutzC. Ceyhun ArslanDavid BoykGreg HalabyHans HarderMegan Robin HewittNurten Kilic-Schubel and Roberta Micallef

Published by: Indiana University Press


A Note on Translation, Transliteration and Syntax
Introduction: Muslim Women, Travel Writing and Cultures of Mobility, by Siobhan Lambert-Hurley and Daniel Majchrowicz
Part I: Travel as Pilgrimage
1. The Widow of Mirza Khalil: A Bereaved Wife Seeks Solace
2. Nawab Sikander Begum: A Queen’s Impressions of Mecca
3. Mehrmah Khanom: Adventures on the Road to Iraq
4. Hajiyeh Khanom Alaviya Kermani: Iran to Mecca by Way of Bombay
5. Sakineh Soltan Khanom Esfahani Kuchak: Iraq Diary
6. Nawab Sultan Jahan Begum: The Long March to Medina
7. Ummat al-Ghani Nur al-Nisa: Notes from Mecca and the Levant
8. Begum Sarbuland Jang: Seeking Sisterhood in Damascus
9. Rahil Begum Shervaniya: Life Aboard a Pilgrim Ship
10. Nur Begum: Poems from a Punjabi Pilgrim
11. Zainab Cobbold: At Home in the Hijaz with a British Convert
12. Fatima Begum: An Indian Haji Observes her Fellow Pilgrims
13. Qaisari Begum: The Long Road to Mecca
14. Begum Hasrat Mohani: Letters from a Pilgrimage to Iraq
15. Mahmooda Rizvi: Three Months in Iraq
Part II: Travel as Emancipation and Politics
16. Melek Hanim: A Turk among the Greeks
17. Huda Shaarawi: A European Summer on the Eve of War
18. Zeyneb Hanoum: A Turkish Désenchantée in Europe
19. Selma Ekrem: Alone in New York City
20. Şükûfe Nihal Başar: Three Days in Finland
21. Halide Édib: A Turkish Nationalist in Colonial India
22. Amina Said: An Egyptian Feminist at an Indian Conference
23. Shareefah Hamid Ali: Representing India at the United Nations
24. Suharti Suwarto: Ten Indonesian Women in the Soviet Union
Part III: Travel as Education
25. Atiya Fyzee: Living and Learning in London
26. Maimoona Sultan: To Turkey by Train through a Child’s Eyes
27. Sediqeh Dowlatabadi: An Iranian Feminist Travails in France
28. Begum Habibullah: With Three Boys at an English Boarding School
29. Iqbalunnisa Hussain: At the University of Leeds
30. Muhammadi Begum: Oxford Diary
31. Herawati Diah: A Journalist in the Making
32. Mehr al-Nisa: An Indian Nurse in Ohio
33. Zaib-un-nissa Hamidullah: Sixty Days in America
Part IV: Travel as Obligation and Pleasure
34. Princess Jahanara: Mystical Meetings in Kashmir
35. Dilshad: A Prisoner is Taken to Khoqand
36. Sayyida Salamah bint Said/Emily Ruete: A Lover’s Flight from Zanzibar
37. Taj al-Saltanah: Life and Death in Qajar Iran
38. Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain: A Pleasure Trip to the Himalaya
39. Nazli Begum: On Grand Tour with the Nawab of Janjira
40. Safia Jabir Ali: Touring Europe on Business
41. Sughra Humayun Mirza: Meeting the Caliph in Switzerland
42. Sughra Sabzvari: An Indian Family in Iran
43. Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah: Life in England on the Brink of War
44. Shams Pahlavi: A Shah’s Daughter in Exile
45. Nyonya Aulia-Salim: An Indonesian Tours America by Motor


Siobhan Lambert-Hurley is Professor of Global History at the University of Sheffield. She is author of Elusive Lives: Gender, Autobiography, and the Self in Muslim South Asia; (with Sunil Sharma) Atiya’s Journeys: A Muslim Woman from Colonial Bombay to Edwardian Britain; and Muslim Women, Reform and Princely Patronage: Nawab Sultan Jahan Begam of Bhopal. She is editor (with Anshu Malhotra) of Speaking of the Self: Gender, Performance, and Autobiography in South Asia and of A Princess’s Pilgrimage: Nawab Sikandar Begum’s A Pilgrimage to Mecca.

Daniel Majchrowicz is Assistant Professor of South Asian Literature and Culture at Northwestern University. His work appears in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies and Journal of Urdu Studies, as well as several edited volumes. He is author of a forthcoming book on the history of travel writing in South Asia. 

Sunil Sharma is Professor of Persianate and Comparative Literature at Boston University. He is author of Mughal Arcadia: Persian Literature in an Indian CourtAmir Khusraw: The Poet of Sultans and SufisPersian Poetry at the Indian Frontier: Mas’ud Sa’d Salman of Lahore, and (with Siobhan Lambert-Hurley) Atiya’s Journeys: A Muslim Woman from Colonial Bombay to Edwardian Britain. He is editor (with Roberta Micallef) of On the Wonders of Land and Sea: Persianate Travel Writing.

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