Photograph of traveler and writer Isabella Bird.

Isabella Bird

(1831 - 1904)

Born in England in 1831, Isabella Bird throughout her life suffered from an intermittent spinal problem and undertook a sea voyage at the behest of doctors in 1854 to the United States and Canada. She subsequently toured the Rocky Mountains, sailed the Sandwich Islands, rode horses in Tibet, fought off hostile tribes in Persia, and published several books on her travels. When first asked to speak to the Royal Geographical Society, she said, “It seems scarcely consistent in a society which does not recognize the work of women to ask a woman to read a paper.”

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