The adventurous and unconventional Lady Hester Stanhope (1776-1839) set off to travel to the East in the early nineteenth century. She had been hostess to her uncle, British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, and after his death she received a government pension and decided to leave England. Her personal physician Charles Meryon (1783-1877) wrote this three-volume memoir of their travels, first published in 1846. She had a reputation as an eccentric, but thought of herself as the 'Queen of the desert' and indeed achieved considerable influence in the places she travelled to. Eventually she settled in the Lebanon, where she lived out the remainder of her life. Volume 3 includes Lady Hester's failed attempt to find hidden treasure among the ruins of Ascalon, and details of her actions after a French traveller was killed in the desert and she ordered the punishment of the offenders.