Culture Supplement

Edith Durhami - supporter of the Albanian cause

Edith Durham (1863 – 1944)
 

The events that took place during the glorious period of the Albanian National Renaissance have aroused the curiosity of foreign dignitaries to visit Albanian villages. The treatment of relevant issues for Albanians and Albania were in the center of attention of their articles and publications in various European centers. Thanks to their commitment, the European world was clearly sensitized to the Albanian issue, not as a Balkan issue, but as a European issue. From the constellation of personalities who visited Albanians and Albania, there is no doubt that the place of honor is occupied by the Englishwoman, Mrs. Edith Durhami (1863-1944). She was a traveler, artist, publicist, writer and an anthropologist known in the late XNUMXth and early XNUMXth centuries.

Edith Durham was the eldest of 8 children. Her father Arthur Edward Durham was a well-known surgeon in London. He was educated privately and from a young age showed talent in art, making it possible for him to attend the Royal Academy of Arts. But her life had great challenges, because after her father's death she had to take care of her sick mother for several years. Advised by doctors at the age of 37, she took a vacation abroad to calm down and relax. From Trieste on a ship belonging to the Austrian Lloyd along the Adriatic, he traveled to Kotor, finally settling in Cetina, Montenegro, in August 1900. "It was exactly this trip, when I first picked up a thread of the Balkan entanglement, without realizing how deeply entangled I would later become, and still less how this entanglement would eventually entangle the whole world,” Durham would later write.

First visit to Albania