The Life of Isabella Bird by Anna M. Stoddart
Isabella Bird (1831-1904) was one of the most famous Victorian female explorers, and the first woman member of the Royal Geographical Society. Bird was recommended an open-air life from an early age as a cure for physical and nervous complaints. She toured the United States and Canada, Australasia and the Far East before her marriage to Dr John Bishop in 1881. After his death in 1886 she decided to become a missionary, and travelled to India and little-known parts of the Middle East. She then went to Iraq, China and Morocco. Each of her expeditions produced very successful books, many in the form of letters to her sister, beginning with An Englishwoman in America (1856); most of these are also reissued in this series. This biography by Anna Stoddart, who had known and admired Bird, was published in 1906 and depicts a daring, determined and perceptive woman.