Originally published in 1888, this is the first known autobiography of an Arabian woman, and the only known autobiography of an Arabian princess. Set in mid-nineteenth century Zanzibar, where Arab and African cultures met, it provides a view no official account could possibly reveal, into the intrigues of court life, the struggles for political power, and the world of the harem. For the love of Heinrich Ruete, a young German consulate official, Princess Salme bint Said chose to forsake, at the risk of death, her privileged place in a Muslim society. In 1886 they fled to the West, where tragically, three years later he died. She remained in Germany with their three children, and there, in a characteristically lively style, wrote of her experience.