A Curious Life for a Lady: The Story of Isabella Bird - Pat BarrLondon: Macmillan & John Murray, 1970, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper with a nick to the head of the spine and top corner of the upper panel.
Includes: Black & white photographs; Top edge dyed Red; Maps; List of sources; Illustrated endpapers and blanks;
From the cover: “Isabella Bird was one of the most remarkable of that extraordinary group of Victorian women who penetrated beyond the fringes of the familiar world to travel in strange, distant lands. For her, travel was the result of a rebellious inner compulsion that made her unable to endure the limiting conventions of her respectable middle-class background and forced her to get up and go. And go she did — to the Rockies and the Sandwich Isles, to Japan, Persia and Malaya, to Tibet, China and Korea.
Often alone, and in conditions of appalling discomfort, difficulty and even peril, she rode thousands of miles on the back of horses, mules, yaks, ponies and elephants and returned to write about her experiences in a series of best-selling books. Miss Bird is the ideal traveller, wrote a Spectator critic. She can see and she can use the words that place what she sees before the reader… There never was anybody who had adventures as well as Miss Bird. What makes Isabella Bird’s personality even more intriguing is that her early years, as a parson’s daughter and diligent worker for charity, were relatively uneventful and that those grand adventures began when she was forty years old and suffering from a painful spinal complaint.
Whether she was climbing a peak with the notorious but rakishly romantic Rocky Mountain Jim, swirling along the Tigris in a gopher with Lord Curzon, addressing a learned society in Edinburgh, living in a Kurdish tent, a Hawaiian grass-hut or a Chinese sampan, Isabella Bird was always her doughty, diminutive self, and no more attractive a travelling companion can be imagined. Mrs. Barr, who has had access to much of Miss Bird’s unpublished correspondence brings this indefatigable lady completely and triumphantly to life.”