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Spinsters Abroad — Victorian Lady Explorers - Dea Birkett

Basil Blackwell, 1989, Hardback in Dustwrapper..
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the head of the spine with commensurate ruffling to the dust wrapper. Text complete, clean and tight.

Illustrated with black and white photographs & maps. From the cover: “What spurred so many Victorian women to leave behind the security and comfort of their middle-class homes to undertake perilous journeys of thousands of miles, tramping through rain forests, caravanning across deserts and scaling mountain ranges? How were they able to travel so freely in exotic lands, when in their own countries such independence was denied them? Dea Birkett draws upon the diaries, letters and writings of more than fifty such women to describe their experiences and aspirations. Many of their journeys are vividly reconstructed — Mary Gaunt’s safari in a hammock along the West African coast, Mary Kingsley’s tropical trek, Amelia Edwards’ thousand-mile passage in a dahabeeyah up the Nile, Isabella Bird’s gruelling ascent of the Rocky Mountains and Marianne North’s globetrotting from Simla to Sarawak to name but a few. Were women such as Mary Kingsley and Isabella Bird simply the intrepid blue-stockings of popular history, or early feminists? The author argues that they were in fact neither — dissatisfied with the cramped lives prescribed for them in Victorian society, they sought new horizons abroad, discovering in these distant places a degree of freedom and respect unimaginable as spinsters at home. She explores the conflict in these women between duty and desire — the wish both to conform to and transgress the bounds of acceptable behaviour.”
Size: 9½" x 6¼"
Number of Pages: 297
ISBN: 0631156046

£8.44 (Now Sold)