Author(s): edited Mary Morris and Larry O'Conner
Edited by travel writer Mary Morris and her journalist husband Larry O'Connor this beautifully illustrated book is an anthology of well-chosen extracts from the works of three centuries of women travellers, including the likes of Mary Wollsencraft, Gertrude Bell, Mary McCarthy and Vita Sackville-West. It is only relatively recently that women have really been able to travel--to see and articulate a view of the world through their own eyes--and as Morris writes in her introduction this sets their experiences apart from those of their male counterparts, "Women, I have come to feel, move through the world differently than men. The constraints and perils the perceptions and complex emotions women journey with are different from those of men". A number of women in the book have pushed and overcome the bounds of what was considered to be reasonable or socially acceptable at the time. For example, riding a motorbike named Mephistopheles, the remarkable Sarah Hobson set off "Through Persia in Disguise" (she dresses as a man and calls herself John) in order to gain access to a forbidden Iranian shrine. During her two years in a Palestinian village on the West Bank Helen Winternitz was forced to overcome her own fears after she was attacked by the people she thought had accepted her. Every extract selected for this book is utterly compelling--it is impossible to read an opening sentence without being drawn in for the duration. The 46 women authors are strikingly different from one another in terms of motive and personality but what unites them here is the unarguable quality of their writing. --Sarah Crawford
2000. First illustrated edition. A fine, unmarked copy in a near fine, unclipped d/w.