The Remarkable Miss Digby

The Remarkable Miss Digby | Patricia Donovan | Author


NZ book stores


Mighty Ape




Mary Egan Publishing

In 1853, only a lunatic would consider crossing the Syrian desert to see the Roman ruins at Palmyra. Most travellers from Europe rash enough to venture into the desert are never seen again, and a woman considering such a journey, without her husband, is preposterous. When Jane Digby, the Lady Ellenborough, granddaughter of the Earl of Leicester, informs the British Consul in Damascus that this is what she intends to do, he quickly learns she’s a woman who brooks no argument.

In Syria, Jane hopes at last to settle, only to discover a world of recklessness and integrity, of cruelty and desire, and where her own passion is stirred more than she ever dared hope for.

The Remarkable Miss Digby is a hauntingly beautiful story, of a woman determined to escape the confines of her class and gender, and living during a time of religious and cultural upheaval which uncannily mirrors our own.

Jane Digby’s scandalous life has been well chronicled. She spent her last decades in Syria and in this enthralling book, Patricia Donovan, drawing on her own experience in the Syrian desert, imagines Jane’s life in that wild land.


“A compelling and page-turning read that will transport you to a different time and culture, with an unforgettable heroine centre-stage.” – NZ Book Lovers

“Absolutely fantastic, I couldn’t put it down.” – Catherine Scullin, Beach FM. You can listen here to Catherine’s conversation with the author.

“An entertaining novel…the book is a pleasure to read for the prose is taut, well-written, splendidly proof-read and edited… one hopes that Ms Donovan will one day treat us to a prequel.” – Flaxflower

“What a fantastic read this is… I literally couldn’t put the book down. I suggest you search it out. I don’t think you will be disappointed.” – Terry Toner, The Book Show, Southland Radio.

“A haunting, beautiful story… I just loved it. It’s a must-read.” – Ruth Todd, Bookenz, Plains FM.

“A gripping read.” – Otaki Today


Syria is a beautiful country and its people among the most hospitable I’ve ever met. It is a place that stays with you, in your heart, and the recent conflict there is a travesty.

It occurred to me, as I was writing this novel that I could, in a small way, use it to help. Every dollar I earn from sales of The Remarkable Miss Digby will be donated to ReliefAid for its support to families displaced by the civil war in Syria. Every $1 donation helps ReliefAid leverage $10 in material support, while $25 enables a family of six to receive life-saving aid.

If you purchase a copy of my book, thank you. You also will be helping.

READ the opening chapter here.