To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.
August 1, 2008 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Women Explorers and Travellers of Asia and the Middle East - In an age where women struggled for basic human rights, these individuals were literal trailblazers. Leaving their homelands for varying motivations (but often due to dissatisfaction with their social lot in life), they devoted their lives to "explore these antique lands before they are irretrievably caught up in the cacaphonic whirl of the modern world." posted by ikahime (10 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, delicious travel writing. This makes me very, very happy. Thank you.
posted by mykescipark at 8:55 AM on August 1, 2008

I've read Bell, Bird, and Stark, and obviously need to catch up on the others. Nice post!
posted by languagehat at 10:49 AM on August 1, 2008

Great post. I knew Isabella L. Bird from her memoir of travels in the American west but did not realize the extent of her travels.

(BTW these women were figurative trailblazers. So far as I know none of them found new paths through the forest and marked the way by cutting away some bark from trees.)
posted by LarryC at 11:25 AM on August 1, 2008

Well I guess it depends on who the trail was being blazed for. I know that Bird travelled some "unbeaten paths" (hence the title of her book) where no Westerner had gone before. But I grant you that the others were figurative. I'll leave my adjectives out next time.
posted by ikahime at 12:36 PM on August 1, 2008

Lovely, thank you.
posted by jokeefe at 1:00 PM on August 1, 2008

Must be mentioned : In Morocco, by Edith Wharton.
posted by Liosliath at 2:15 PM on August 1, 2008

Isabella Bird is famous in Estes Park as one of the early climbers of Longs Peak, the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. I hadn't heard of her in any other context, so this is fascinating. Thanks!
posted by invitapriore at 2:27 PM on August 1, 2008

great post, ikahime - thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:24 PM on August 1, 2008

Chiming in late, as per usual. This list is great, but don't forget Ella Maillart , who wrote multiple books herself, and also is featured prominently in Peter Fleming's News From Tartary.

Also, I would probably Include Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.
posted by gudrun at 9:14 AM on August 2, 2008

Yes - this list could have been much longer, and I was hoping folks would list more of their faves. I left out others like Alexandrine Tinné, Mary Kingsley and Osa Johnson (all having to do with Africa).
posted by ikahime at 10:48 AM on August 2, 2008

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