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Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope

Stanhope, Lady Hester Lucy, 1776–1839, English traveler. Leaving England in 1810, she traveled in the Levant, adopting Eastern male dress and a religion that was a composite of Christianity and Islam. She finally settled among the Druze of the Lebanon Mts. in an abandoned convent that she rebuilt and fortified. The indigenous population regarded her as a prophetess, as, in time, she came to regard herself; she incited them to resist an Egyptian invasion (1831) of Syria. European travelers, including A. M. L. de Lamartine and A. W. Kinglake, wrote accounts of their visits to her. Her personal physician, C. L. Meryon, recorded her life in Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope (3 vol., 1845) and in Travels of Lady Hester Stanhope (3 vol., 1846).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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