Thursday 20 September 2012

Lady Travellers 101

Yesterday, this blog hit three!  I know, I can't believe it either.  HTLT's third birthday seems like a good time to post about my inspiration: the intrepid women who travelled the world (many at a time when travel meant enduring discomfort that makes a long-haul flight seem like a trip downtown on the bus) and then put their stories to paper.

Perhaps you've stumbled upon this blog because you're interested in knowing more about women travellers.  Or (she says hopefully) you may have become interested in women travellers since reading my blog.  Either way, here are some thoughts for anyone interested in pursuing the topic further.

The two holy books of women and travel (for me, anyway) are both edited by Jane Robinson.  The first is Wayward Women, a bibliography of women travel writers.  The second is Unsuitable for Ladies, an anthology of travel writing by women - and the book that got me embroiled in all of this in the first place.  Virago also has a good anthology of women travel writers (called, funnily enough, The Virago Book of Women Travellers - co-edited by Mary Morris, herself a great travel writer.)

So far so good.  Armed with these, where do you go next?

You could start with my Desert Island travel book list (ever-expanding, subject to change depending on whim, caprice, or what I've read most recently):

Unsuitable for Ladies
Out of Africa
An English Girl's First Impressions of Burmah
I Married Adventure
The Wilder Shores of Love
Cruises and Caravans
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (will keep you going for months, could also double as a doorstop or weapon if the need should arise)
And, of course, Hints to Lady Travellers

At least five of these are in print; second hand bookshops and Abebooks are great for finding out-of-print travelogues.  If you have an e-book reader, I'd also suggest hopping over to Project Gutenberg.  There you can download any number of out-of-print works, including travelogues by Isabella Bird, Beth Ellis and Margaret Brooke (who will be getting a book review soon!)

While an original edition of Hints to Lady Travellers has proved sadly elusive, a new version was issued in 2011 by the Royal Geographic Society, should you wish to partake further of Ms Campbell Davidson's wisdom.

Most Thursdays I try to write a post about a Lady Traveller (makes a break from rambling on about bikes, nephews, coffee etc) and these - plus any other references to the heroines in whose footsteps I try to walk - can be found by clicking on the 'Lady Travellers' tag under 'Labels' on the sidebar.

1 comment:

  1. I've just walked into and out of Dublin centre without seeing any sign of beautified parking spaces. Looking at the map it's obviously a south side plot. I did though see a magnificent flower arrangement on an equally handsome lamppost on Blessington Street beyond the wastes of O Connell and Parnell Streets.