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Spinsters Abroad: Victorian lady explorers Paperback – 18 Mar 2004
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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 rainforests, 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?This book draws on the diaries, letters and other writings of more than 50 such women to describe their experiences and aspirations. In addressing the question of whether women like Mary Kingsley and Isabella Bird were the intrepid bluestockings of popular history, or in fact early feminists, Dea Birkett concludes that they were neither; that, 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 to them as spinsters at home.In this ancedotal and entertaining history she explores the conflict in these women between duty and desire - the wish to observe and to transgress the bounds of acceptable behaviour.
About the Author
Dea Birkett was born in 1958 and is an author, journalist and traveller. She won the Somerset Maughan Award for Jella: From Lagos to Liverpool: A woman at Sea in a Man's World. Her other books include Serpent in Paradise, an account of her time on Pitcairn Island with the descendants of the Bounty Mutineers and Amazonians: The Penguin book of Women's Travel writing.
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coming together into any narrative anyone could follow. I am surprised it was ever published.
I've managed many books with large casts of characters, such as Michener novels. There was no need to mix them all together in this manner.