She was supposedly born to a aristocratic Hungarian family, only to see them slaughtered during the Hungarian Revolution. Her nurse escaped with her and took her to Bulgaria, then part of the Ottoman empire. From there her nurse ran off to get married and she got kidnapped by slavers who groomed her to be a concubine in a harem.Annals of the unbelievable, stories too good to be true that - deliciously - are.
At the age of somewhere between 14-17 (they're not sure exactly when she was born) she was finally being auctioned in Vidon's slave market when Baker, who had gone to the auction on a bit of a lark, saw her. He was smitten by her and attempted to buy her, but he was outbid by the Pasha of Vidon.
Undeterred, Baker bribed her guards and ran off with her. They eventually got married.
Lady Florence continued to travel with Baker. As I mentioned, she was on his expedition down the nile when he discovered Lake Albert, and likely saved him when his expedition collapsed and he nearly died of the fever.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Life is stranger than fiction
At Flares Into Darkness, a story that would never be accepted for publication by a fiction editor, because it is too outlandish to be believed. And yet it's true: