In 1926 Vita (Victoria Mary) Sackville-West (1892-1962) traveled to Persia via Egypt, India and Iraq, and returned through Russia and revolution-torn Poland. The route was circuitous and the pace leisurely, though not without excitement. “Passenger to Tehran” (Cockbird Publishers, UK, 1990) is her account of the journey, described with characteristic humour. It's out of print, but try to get copy any way you can. You will love it.
In 1923 the art critic Clive Bell introduced Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf, and the two became lovers. She was the chief model for Orlando in Woolf's novel of that same title from 1928. Vita was the only child of Lionel Edward, third Baron of Sackville, and Victoria Josepha Dolores Catalina Sackville-West, his first cousin and the illegitimate daughter of the diplomat Sir Lionel Sackville-West. Thanks to Zara Houshmand for recommending this book.