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Women Traveller Books

The women traveller books are a collection of works by women adventurers and settlers in Africa or Asia, from times when most women just did not do adventure or upsticks and go and set up home in the wilds.

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William Henry Davenport Adams

Celebrated Women Travellers Of The Nineteenth Century

Celebrated Women Travellers Of The Nineteenth Century by W H Davenport Adams (1883). Interesting descriptions of places and peoples including Tierra del Fuego, Hawaii, Japan by Lady Brassey on the Sunbeam in 1876, also the travels of Mrs. Trollope, Miss Isabella Bird in America and her descriptions, Florence and Rosamond Hill, Lady Barker in New Zealand, Lady Hester Stanhope and more.


Maria Aitken

A Girdle Round The Earth

A Girdle Round The Earth: Women Travellers And Adventurers by Maria Aitken (1988) are fascinating historical accounts of women travellers and adventurers from around the world.



Women Adventurers: Travelers, Explorers And Seekers

Women Adventurers: Travelers, Explorers And Seekers by Maria Aitken (2001)



Jessica Allin

A Breath Of Africa

A Breath Of Africa by Jessica Allin (1997) is a memoir of the author's life in Africa. Jessica Allin went to Tanganyika as a Government secretary in 1951 and married a young bank official. The next 32 years were spent in Dar es Salaam, Moshi, Zanzibar, Nyeri (during Mau Mau), Khartoum and Rhodesia where they bought a property. Despite their obvious affection for Africa they have retired to Javea and the final chapters include vignettes from their life in Spain and an account of a family reunion in South Africa.


Evelyn Perkins Ames

Evelyn Ingeborg (Perkins) Ames (1908 - 1990) was an American author and poet.

A Glimpse Of Eden

A Glimpse Of Eden by Evelyn Perkins Ames (1967) is an account of her East African safari with her husband with another couple and a guide. The group went to the Kenya highlands and through Masai country, camping in the wilderness.



Isabel Anderson

Isabel Weld Perkins (1877 - 1948) known as Isabel Anderson after her marriage to diplomat, Larz Anderson, was a Boston heiress and prolific travel author.

Circling Africa

Circling Africa by Isabel Anderson (1929) is an account of adventures on a cruise around Africa as well as stories of the ports that for centuries were the haunts of pirates and slavers.



From Corsair To Riffian

From Corsair To Riffian by Isabel Anderson (1927) is about a 2 month long journey in the mid 1920s, through Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.



Pam Ascanio

White Men Don't Have Juju

White Men Don't Have Juju: An American Couple's Adventure Through Africa From The Forbidden Zone To Timbuktu by Pam Ascanio (1992) is a memoir of their adventures in Africa while traveling on their own.



Lady Mary Anne Barker

Mary Anne Barker, Lady Barker (1831 - 1911), later Mary Anne Broome, Lady Broome, was an author and journalist.

Travelling About Over New And Old Ground

Travelling About Over New And Old Ground by Lady Mary Anne Barker (1872) is accounts of travel through Australasia, North and South America, Africa and Asia during the 1860s and 1870s.



Maud Alice Barker-Benfield

The Lands And Peoples Of East Africa

The Lands And Peoples Of East Africa by Maud Alice Barker-Benfield (1960)



Marie Bartlett

Primrose Marie Swan (1912 - 1991) was a British journalist and author born in Ceylon. She used the pen-name of Valerie Rift for 10 of her novels and worked as a journalist and women's editor for the Nairobi Times. Fearing for the safety of her two children, born in Kenya, Marie and her second husband William Harry Bartlett, returned to Britain where she continued her writing.

The Rhino Stayed For Breakfast

The Rhino Stayed For Breakfast by Marie Bartlett (1958) is an autobiographical account (published under her own name) of life set in colonial Kenya, the difficulties faced by Europeans in an increasingly hostile environment of Mau Mau revolution. The book was later re-published in 1975 under the author's name of Rowena Lee.


Joan Baxter

A Serious Pair Of Shoes: An African Journal

A Serious Pair Of Shoes: An African Journal by Joan Baxter (2002) is about her life in Africa, set against the backdrop of the hardship that most Africans battle every day of their lives. Set in Kenya, Mali, Ghana and Cameroon, she tells the story of her own personal discoveries of Africa and introduces some amazing people.


Dust From Our Eyes: An Unblinkered Look At Africa

Dust From Our Eyes: An Unblinkered Look At Africa by Joan Baxter (2008) draws on more than two decades of living in and reporting from Africa to reveal that there is more to the continent than poverty and suffering, and far more to Western involvement than benevolent charity. Alternately funny, chilling, moving and disturbing.


Graveyard For Dreamers: One Woman's Odyssey In Africa

Graveyard For Dreamers: One Woman's Odyssey In Africa by Joan Baxter (2002) is a personal and colourful account of living, travelling and reporting on coups and customs in seven West African countries.



Strangers Are Like Children: Stories Of Africa

Strangers Are Like Children: Stories Of Africa by Joan Baxter (1996) is a collection of stories from Africa by the Nova Scotian born author who lives in Nairobi.



Cheryl Bentsen

Maasai Days

Maasai Days by Cheryl Bentsen (1989) is an account of her six year relationship with a group of Maasai villagers who regard cows as currency and resist new ways of life.



Ruth Showell Best

Strawberries All Year Round

Strawberries All Year Round by Ruth Showell Best (1970) is the story of a Canadian women who lived in Kenya for two years.



Christine Korol Blakemore

The People From The Pit: A Trans-African Journey

The People From The Pit: A Trans-African Journey by Christine Korol Blakemore (1997) is the fascinating diary of Christine Korol Blakemore, who travelled across the African continent with eighteen young people from across the globe in a converted army truck. Describing the hardships which she and her fellow travellers had to endure as they crossed jungle, desert and mountains, she provides a detailed and often hilarious acount of the problems encountered when a trans-continent expedition is undertaken.


Helen Virginia Blakeslee

Dr Helen Virginia Blakeslee was an American osteopath and missionary to Kenya with the Africa Inland Mission.

Beyond The Kikuyu Curtain

Beyond The Kikuyu Curtain by Helen Virginia Blakeslee (1956) is a true account of the Mau Mau uprisings and atrocities in Kenya in the 1950s and what led up to them.



Conflict With Darkness: A Story Of God's Love Among The Mau Maus by Helen Virginia Blakeslee (1957) is a missionary's account of "the Gospel light penetrating the darkness of Kikuyuland - land of the terrifying Mau Mau".

Evelyn Brodhurst-Hill

Alice Evelyn Maud Brodhurst-Hill (b.1883) was a Kenya settler married to Capt. Tim 'Bronco Bill' Brodhurst-Hill.

So This Is Kenya!

So This Is Kenya! by Evelyn Brodhurst-Hill (1936) is her account of the ups and downs of farming in the Rift Valley and of matters domestic and native.



The Youngest Lion: Early Farming Days In Kenya by Eve Bache (1934) (pseudonym of Evelyn Brodhurst-Hill) is a no-nonsense account of farming in Kenya by early settlers in the 1920s and 1930. Includes the various hardships such as labour problems, theft, diseases, cattle lifting lions and marauding elephants, leopards that prey on the livestock and dogs, isolation and loneliness and the pleasures during the harvest. This book was hailed as one of the best on the subject.

Sylvia Brooke

Sylvia Leonora, Lady Brooke, Ranee of Sarawak (1885 - 1971) was the British-born Honourable Sylvia Leonora Brett and was the consort to His Highness Rajah Vyner of Sarawak, last of the White Rajahs.

Sylvia Brooke
Sylvia Brooke

Queen Of The Headhunters

Queen Of The Headhunters: The Autobiography Of Sylvia Brooke, Wife Of The Last White Rajah Of Sarawak by Sylvia Brooke (1970) is a narrative that spans 80 years and is a unique personal history enriched by vivid anecdotes too marvellous to have been contrived. The exotic heart of her memoirs is her story of her marriage to Vyner Brooke, last of a long tyrannical line of White Rajahs of Sarawak, and her long years as his consort among primitive people in a land she instantly recognised as home.


Book About Sylvia Brooke

Philip Eade

Sylvia, Queen of the Headhunters: An Outrageous Englishwoman And Her Lost Kingdom

Sylvia, Queen of the Headhunters: An Outrageous Englishwoman And Her Lost Kingdom by Philip Eade (2008) is a biography of Sylvia Brooke, better known as the Ranee of Sarawak, who was the wife, consort and by custom, slave of Sir Vyner Brooke, the last White Rajah of the jungle kingdom of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. The nation had its own flag, revenue, postage stamps, money and for three generations the White Rajahs had held the power of life and death over their subjects. By the 1930s there was a sharp decline in their power and prestige and at the center of it all stood Ranee Sylvia. Author of eleven books, an extravagantly-dressed socialite and incorrigible self-dramatist, the Ranee was described by the press as 'that most charming of despots' and by her own brother as 'a female Iago'. With a supporting cast including her father, a celebrated courtier in love with his own son, and her whimsical husband, this is the fascinating account of the extraordinary and often malevolent life of Ranee Sylvia.


Clara Lee Brown

Beating Around The Bush

Beating Around The Bush by Clara Lee Brown (1967) is the story of a married couple and their three-week African safari.



One For The Road

One For The Road by Clara Lee Brown (1970)



Voyage Into Danger

Voyage Into Danger: Factual Account Of A Shipwreck Adventure by Clara Lee Brown (1972). The author was one of eleven Ohio passengers aboard the shipwrecked Norwegian vessel 'Lindblad Explorer' who was rescued about 600 miles south of Cape Horn, South America in what the Cincinnati newspapers described as "the greatest feat in the history of naval operations."


Mary Aline Buxton

Mary Aline Bradshaw Buxton (1896 - 1954) was the first wife of Clarence Edward Victor Buxton, a British settler and coffee grower in Kenya.

Kenya Days

Kenya Days by Mary Aline Buxton (1927) is a fascinating description of old-time settler life in the Kenya of the 1920's. Includes chapters on Nairobi, Kenya tribes, wildlife and a safari round Mount Kenya.



Monica Campbell-Martin

Out In The Midday Sun

Out In The Midday Sun by Monica Campbell-Martin (1948) are her experiences of life in India before and after the Second World War. Free eBook



Juanita Carberry

Juanita Carberry (1925 - 2013) grew up in Kenya as part of the 'Happy Valley' set of Kenyan white settlers notorious for their decadent lifestyle.

Juanita Carberry
Juanita Carberry

Child Of The Happy Valley: A Memoir

Child Of Happy Valley: A Memoir by Juanita Carberry with Nicola Tyrer (1999). The author grew up on a coffee farm in the Kenya of the 20s and 30s, the White Mischief era. At fifteen Juanita became involved in the Lord Erroll affair: she is the only person to whom Delves Broughton confessed to the murder of Lord Erroll.


Lady Violet M Carnegie

Violet Mabel Carnegie (nee Fraser) was the wife of Robert Francis Carnegie who served in the British East Africa Protectorate Forces.

A Kenyan Farm Diary

A Kenyan Farm Diary by Lady Violet M Carnegie (1930) is about true life on a farm built up near Gilgil in the Rift Valley in Kenya from 1919 to 1928.



Barbara Carr

Barbara Carr, nee Lennon, was married to Norman Carr, an elephant poacher turned professional hunter, game warden, conservationist and writer.

Not For Me The Wilds

Not For Me The Wilds by Barbara Carr (1963) describes her life married to Norman Carr. She much prefers the fashionable life of London and complains about the scarcities, lack of hygiene in the bush and lonliness when her husband was away.


Cherries On My Plate

Cherries On My Plate by Barbara Carr (1965) is an entertaining autobiography. Carr came from England to live in Nyasaland and saw its transtion to independence as Malawi.



Spy In The Sun: The Story Of Yuriy Loginov

Spy In The Sun: The Story Of Yuriy Loginov by Barbara Carr (1969) are detailed investigations into the activities of a Russian spy, posing as Canadian, arrested in 1967 in South Africa.



The Beastly Wilds

The Beastly Wilds by Barbara Carr (1969). Barbara Carr married a man in Africa and found him embued with a vocation for killing things. He thought it would be nice for both of them if she killed things too. Her books, written with sparkle and flashes of great descriptive power, are consistently readable.


Ka'nyali by Barbara Carr (1995)

Weep For The Warrior

Weep For The Warrior: A Sory of Africa by Barbara Carr (1978) is the author's first novel concerning an African herd boy who goes to England and the problems he encounters.



Etta C Close

Etta Close (d.1945) was a British woman who travelled in East Africa only in the company of her native staff and a Dutch guide called Mr Trout, who was no help to her.

"Altogether I would say to a woman going to a wild country to learn never to be hungry unless there is something to eat, never to be thirsty unless there is something to drink, and never be sleepy or tired unless you know your bed is ready for you. When you have mastered these three simple rules go out on safari and you will enjoy yourself".

A Woman Alone In Kenya, Uganda And The Belgian Congo

A Woman Alone In Kenya, Uganda And The Belgian Congo by Etta Close (1924) describes her wanderings in Kenya, Uganda and Belgian Congo. The author went to Africa intending to stay for three months and stayed for eighteen. Indeed, she almost stayed forever as a consequence of a bad attack of malaria.


Lady Evelyn Cobbold

Lady Evelyn Zainab (Murray) Cobbold (1867 - 1963) was the first British-born Muslim woman to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at he age of 65. Lady Evelyn was an adventurous traveller as well as a keen sportswoman and published accounts of her expeditions.

Lady Evelyn Cobbold
Lady Evelyn Cobbold

Kenya The Land Of Illusion

Kenya The Land Of Illusion by Lady Evelyn Cobbold (1935) is a diary of her travels in Kenya. Having completed the Hajj, she crossed Europe, the Mediterranean and flew down the Nile to Kenya with her grandson.



Wayfarers In The Libyan Desert

Wayfarers In The Libyan Desert by Lady Evelyn Cobbold (1912) is about travel among the pyramids and other ancient ruins in Egypt with Frances Gordon Alexander who also published an identically titled book.



Pilgrimage To Mecca

Pilgrimage To Mecca by Lady Evelyn Cobbold (1934) is as much an account of a journey of faith as a conventional travelogue. It takes the form of a day-by-day journal interspersed with digressions on the history and merits of Islam.


Grace Crile

Grace Crile, nee McBride (1876 - 1948) was an American author who accompanied her husband, Dr George Washington Crile, a surgeon and research scientist, to a laboratory in the Great Rift Valley.

Skyways To A Jungle Laboratory

Skyways To A Jungle Laboratory: An African Adventure by Grace Crile (1936) is the record of the author's journey and adventures. Free eBook



Gayatri Devi

A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs Of The Maharani Of Jaipur

A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs Of The Maharani Of Jaipur by Gayatri Devi (1976) presents an intimate look at the extraordinary life of one of the world's most fascinating women and an informal history of the princely states of India from the height of the Princes' power to their present state.


C Emily Dibb

C Emily Dibb's evocative poems, 'Call Of Africa' and 'The Exile' appear on dozens of websites selling hunting and photographic safaris, rarely with any credit to the author.

Ivory, Apes And Peacocks

Ivory, Apes And Peacocks by C Emily Dibb (1981) is a charming account of growing up in Matabeleland in the early 1900s and of her life with animals. This is a delighful presentation of reminiscences involving a variety of animals, birds and reptiles. The anecdotes, which are loosely strung on a biographical thread, were assembled from the personal experiences of the author, family and friends. No creature is too insignificant to excape the author's overtures of friendship and instructive comment - wild or domestic.


The Conundrum Trees

The Conundrum Trees by C Emily Dibb (1989) is another delightful book about the author's love of the bush in Zimbabwe.



Spotted Soldiers

Spotted Soldiers by C Emily Dibb (1978) is a powerful novel set in Rhodesia's war-torn Gaza Province.



The Bite

The Bite by C Emily Dibb (1978)



Fanny Eden

Tigers, Durbars And Kings: Fanny Eden's Indian Journals 1837-1838

Tigers, Durbars And Kings: Fanny Eden's Indian Journals 1837-1838 by Fanny Eden, edited by Janet Dunbar (1988). Eden was a sister of George, Lord Ackland, Governor-General of India from 1835 to 1842. Hers is a thoroughly un-Victorian approach, with none of the earnestness and arrogance which disfigure so many later memsahibs' accounts.


Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey (1932 - 1985) was an American zoologist who studied gorillas for 18 years in Rwanda.

Dian Fossey
Dian Fossey

Gorillas In The Mist

Gorillas In The Mist by Dian Fossey (1988) is an enthralling testament to one of the longest field studies of primates, covering fifteen years in the lives of four gorilla families in Central Africa.



Books About Dian Fossey

Harold Hayes

The Dark Romance Of Dian Fossey

The Dark Romance Of Dian Fossey by Harold Hayes (1990). In 1985 Fossey was brutally killed in her research camp cabin in Ruwanda. The identity of the murderer remains speculative to this day. There were no lack of suspects, however, as in her single-minded committment, she was the intractable foe of poachers, imperious to Africans and abrasive to colleagues. This book explores that strange life of the complicated Fossey, a life lived far from her native Kentucky.


Farley Mowat

Woman In The Mists

Woman In The Mists by Farley Mowat (1988). One of the world's most respected naturalist writers draws for the first time ever on Dian Fossey's personal writings to reveal the true story of a magnificent obsession...one woman's enormous empathy for a highly intelligent, desperately endangered animal - and how it ruled her life, her work and her heart.


L M Francis

A Lion To Market: I Came To Live

A Lion To Market: I Came To Live by L M Francis (1971) is an account of her life in the wilds, where she carved a farm out of the wilderness, raised a lion cub and lived alone with no white person within many miles.



Antonia Fraser

The Warrior Queens

The Warrior Queens by Antonia Fraser (1990). In this panoramic work of history, Lady Antonia Fraser looks at women who led armies and empires: Cleopatra, Isabella of Spain, Jinga Mbandi, Margaret Thatcher, and Indira Gandhi among others.



Olive Frederickson

The Silence Of The North

The Silence Of The North by Olive Frederickson (1972) is the incredible true story of one woman's fight for survival in the Arctic wilderness.



Jane Geniesse

Passionate Nomad: The Life Of Freya Stark

Passionate Nomad: The Life Of Freya Stark by Jane Geniesse (1999) is the first biography published in America of Freya Stark, last of the great female adventurers and one of the most engaging writers of the 20th century.



Mrs M A Handley

Roughing It In Southern India

Roughing It In Southern India by Mrs M A Handley (1911) is a true record of her travels in Southern India while her husband was a Forestry Officer. Free eBook



Barbara Holland

They Went Whistling: Women Wayfarers, Warriors, Runaways And Renegades

They Went Whistling: Women Wayfarers, Warriors, Runaways And Renegades by Barbara Holland (2002) is an account of history's outstanding, and largely forgotten, females. The women revealed within these pages were driven by passion - for religion, humanity, adventure, politics and knowledge - that couldn't be curtailed by convention. They were witty, defiant and, more often than not, beautiful. Holland brings such faces as Joan of Arc, Daisy Bates, Stagecoach Mary and Mary Mother Jones into the same light as Napoleon, Lawrence of Arabia, Billy the Kid and Frederick Engels.


Alexandra Lapierre

Women Travelers: A Century Of Trailblazing Adventures 1850-1950

Women Travelers: A Century Of Trailblazing Adventures 1850-1950 by Alexandra Lapierre (2007) are the stories of the greatest women adventurers in history. From deserts and jungles to mountains and icebergs, they faced unimaginable dangers as they crossed all five continents, often armed with little more than a corset and an umbrella.


Margaret Macmillan

Women Of The Raj

Women Of The Raj by Margaret Macmillan (2005). Looking at Britain's involvement in India over three and a half centuries but particularly the period of empire from the 1850s to 1947, the author recreates the role of the women of the Raj from their own letters and memoirs, from novels and from interviews with survivors.


Annie Martin

Annie Martin was a seasoned British traveller, visiting the West Indies, Brazil and Eygpt before going to South Africa where she and her new husband raised ostriches. She later returned to London and would nostalgically visit the ostriches in London Zoo.

Home Life On An Ostrich Farm

Home Life On An Ostrich Farm by Annie Martin (1890). The author accompanied her husband to South Africa in 1881 and they resided there for several years engaged in ostrich farming. There is a good deal of information on the subject of ostrich breeding. It includes an interesting account of a wounded buffalo attacking a hunter's horse, a springbok hunt in the Karoo region and additional mention of hunting leopards and baboons. Free eBook


Margo McLoone

Women Explorers In Africa

Women Explorers In Africa: Christina Dodwell, Delia Akeley, Mary Kingsley, Florence Von Sass-Baker, Alexandrine Tinne by Margo McLoone (1997) are five photo-illustrated biographies of famous women travellers to Africa.



Marjorie Michael

Marjorie Michael
Marjorie Michael & Family

I Married A Hunter

I Married A Hunter by Marjorie Michael (1956) was the wife of George Michael, author of African Fury. Together, they did the BBC television show 'The Michaels in Africa'. Chapters include Zambesi Journey, Elephant Mixture, The Menagerie at Home, A Little About the Man I Married, More About Him and more.


Dorothy Middleton

Victorian Lady Travellers

Victorian Lady Travellers by Dorothy Middleton (1993) is a lively, amusing re-telling of the adventures of seven unique women, who fearlessly travelled to remote corners of the earth - Isabella Bird Bishop, Marianne North (a botanist who painted in Brazil), Fanny Bullock Workman (photographer and mountaineer), Annie Taylor, May French Sheldon, Kate Marsden and Mary Kingsley.


Janet Miller

Dr Janet Miller was an American missionary and doctor who had worked in China for 12 years before going to the Congo to set up a medical facility. She was sent back to the US shortly after because the Congo was considered too dangerous for a female doctor.

Jungles Preferred

Jungles Preferred by Janet Miller (1931) is an account of the author's journey into Africa at the behest of the Belgian government to offer medical services. It includes many incidental observations about the wildlife.



Decima Moore

Lilian Decima, Lady Moore-Guggisberg (1871 - 1964) was an actress and the second wife of Frederick Gordon Guggisberg and she accompanied him on his survey journeys in West Africa.

Brigadier-General Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg (1869 - 1930) was a Canadian born soldier and administrator in the Colonial Service, becoming governor and commander-in-chief of the Gold Coast.

Decima Moore & Frederick Gordon Guggisberg
Decima Moore & Frederick Gordon Guggisberg

We Two In West Africa

We Two In West Africa by Decima Moore & Major Frederick Gordon Guggisberg (1909). The authors despite their separate names are man and wife, each writing chapters from contrasting points of view - he the "old hand" in Africa and she the newcomer. Much on the siege of Coomasie, gold mining prospects and other colonialist ventures, plus vivid descriptions of African life. Guggisberg is rather scathing about his wife in the preface of the book - "This is a most irritating book to read...Throughout the book my wife talks - I write." Free eBook

Mary Morris

The Virago Book Of Women Travellers

The Virago Book Of Women Travellers by Mary Morris (2000). From the acerbic wit of Freya Stark to the raw courage of Dervla Murphy, over 300 years of the best and bravest women's travel is gathered here in a collection of stunning journeys.



Maiden Voyages: Writings Of Women Travelers

Maiden Voyages: Writings Of Women Travelers by Mary Morris (1993) is a collection of travelogues by distinguished women authors includes the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Vita Sackville-West, Annie Dillard, Isak Dinesen, Rebecca West, Willa Cather, Margaret Mead and Mary McCarthy among others.


Elizabeth Fagg Olds

Women Of The Four Winds

Women Of The Four Winds: The Adventures Of Four Of America's First Women Explorers by Elizabeth Fagg Olds (1985). Annie Smith Peck attempted seven times to climb Peru's highest mountain; Delia Akeley hunted big game in Africa; Marguerite Harrison spied in Russia for America; Louise Arner Boyd led expeditions to perilous East Greenland. Precursors of the modern Jane Goodalls and Sally Rides, these women represent a fascinating but forgotten era in the literature of exploration.


Frances Osborne

The Bolter

The Bolter by Frances Osborne (2009). As the First World War ended, Idina Sackville shocked high society by leaving her multimillionaire father to run off to Africa with a near penniless man. Sackville went on to divorce a total of five times. Sackville's life was so scandalous that it was kept a secret from her great-granddaughter Frances Osborne. Now, Osborne tells the moving tale of betrayal and heartbreak behind Sackville's road to scandal and return, painting a dazzling portrait of high society in the early twentieth century. Kindle Version


Valerie Pakenham

Out In The Noonday Sun: Edwardians In The Tropics

Out In The Noonday Sun: Edwardians In The Tropics by Valerie Pakenham (1985). Drawing from letters, diaries and memoirs, Pakenham brings us the lives of the remarkable men and women who passed their days, flamboyantly, desperately and sometime degeneratively, with little company but the mongoose and a cup of tea. You will meet traders, soldiers, sportemen, land-hungry younger sons, hunters in search of ivory, missionaries in search of souls, prancing proconsuls and earnest young men who enlisted to bear the White Man's burden in the wilds of Asia and the African bush.


Milbry Polk and Mary Tiegreen

Women Of Discovery: A Celebration Of Intrepid Women Who Explored The World

Women Of Discovery: A Celebration Of Intrepid Women Who Explored The World by Milbry Polk and Mary Tiegreen (2001). Here for the first time are gathered the tales of early voyagers, such as the valiant tenth-century Viking adventurer Unn the Deep Minded and seventeenth-century Spanish conquistadora Catalina de Erauso. Intrepid explorers like Mary Kingsley in Africa, Alexandra David-Neel in Tibet, and Freya Stark in the Middle East traveled fearlessly into the blank spaces on the map. Artist explorers, including the great botanical painter Anna Maria Sibylla Merian in Surinam, writer Zora Neale Hurston in Haiti, and photographer Ruth Robertson in South America, captured in their art the beauty and mystery of exotic lands. Many brave women have ventured into extreme environments to bring back knowledge, whether they were aviators like Amelia Earhart, mountaineers like Annie Smith Peck, or Arctic explorers like Irina and Valentina Kuznetsova. And the annals of science would be far poorer without the work of such women as primatologists Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, ethnobotanist Nicole Maxwell and ichthyologist Eugenie Clark.


Mirella Ricciardi

African Saga

African Saga by Mirella Ricciardi (1985). In these vivid pages the author, an internationally famous photographer, recreates her life, set against the cruel beauty of Africa. Telling of her father's imprisionment, her brothers fight against the Mau Mau and her parents eventual death. There have not been many accounts of family life in Africa quite like this one and none illustrated with such a range of rare and evocative photographs.


Vanishing Africa

Vanishing Africa by Mirella Ricciardi (1971) is a history of African tribal art told in text and photographs. African tribesmen in celebratory poses as well as text relating to the author's experiences. Beautiful images of a now nearly extinct way of life.



African Rainbow: Across Africa By Boat

African Rainbow: Across Africa By Boat by Mirella Ricciardi & Lorenzo Ricciardi (1989) is an account of the African Rainbow Equatorial Expedition which achieved the first-known crossing of Africa by boat, navigating an often hazardous and uncharted course through the waterways which lie between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The 6000 km journey, made by Lorenzo Ricciardi and his photographer wife, Mirella, is recorded in text and photographs describing the dangers and pleasures of the journey, and the controversial issues of todays Africa. Description and photographs of people encountered en route (George Adamson, James Ash, Maurice Craft, Citoyen Mushenzi and Jane Goodall); the couples encounters with white water rapids, hippos,crocodiles, apes, elephants, sleeping sickness, poachers, fishermen, villagers and a live volcano are portrayed against a backdrop of African scenery.


Brian Roberts

Ladies In The Veldt

Ladies In The Veldt by Brian Roberts (1965) is the story of two remarkable woman journalists in the Transvaal and Natal between the Zulu War and the Transvaal War of 1880-1881.



Jane Robinson

Unsuitable For Ladies: An Anthology Of Women Travellers

Unsuitable For Ladies: An Anthology Of Women Travellers by Jane Robinson (1994) is an exhilarating journey through sixteen centuries of travel writing, aboard almost anything from a Bugatti to a Bath chair, 'Unsuitable for Ladies' is a fascinating read, suitable for anyone who loves exploring new cultures and landscapes, whether first-hand or from an armchair.


Patricia Romero

Women's Voices On Africa

Women's Voices On Africa by Patricia Romero (1992) is an anthology of women travel writers with potted biographies of each, includes Kingsley, Dundas, Forbes, Mott-Smith, Perham, Fannin, Murray and more.



Mary Russell

The Blessings Of A Good Thick Skirt: Women Travellers And Their World

The Blessings Of A Good Thick Skirt: Women Travellers And Their World by Mary Russell (1986) is a richly researched, eclectic anthology of women travellers' experiences. Mary Kingsley said, "It is at these moments you realise the blessings of a good thick skirt. Save for a good many bruises here was I with the fullness of my skirt tucked under me, sitting on nine ebony spikes some twelve inches long, in comparative comfort, howling lustily to be hauled out." May French Sheldon's journey is included in this book.


Mark Seal

Joan Root (1936 - 2006) was a Kenyan-born conservationist, ecological activist and Oscar-nominated filmmaker. She was married to fellow film-maker Alan Root. After several years of harassment, Joan Root was murdered at her home in Lake Naivasha.

Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life And Untimely Death In Africa

Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life And Untimely Death In Africa by Mark Seal (2009) is the unforgettable tale of naturalist and filmmaker Joan Root, and her brutal, unnecessary death at the hands of two mysterious masked men in 2006. In an attempt to uncover the secret of her murder, journalist Mark Seal instead discovered one of the most fascinating life stories he had ever encountered. The story of a deeply passionate woman who dedicated her life to wildlife in Africa, whose romance with her eventual husband Alan only added fuel to her fire, and whose reinvention after personal tragedy was inspirational. Kindle Version


May French Sheldon

May French Sheldon (1847 - 1936) was a wealthy American publisher. In 1891 she undertook an exploring expedition into Africa, unattended by any white man or woman, and succeeded in circumnavigating Lake Chala, an exploit which has attracted universal attention.

May French Sheldon
May French Sheldon

Sultan To Sultan

Sultan To Sultan: Adventures Among The Masai And Other Tribes Of East Africa by May French Sheldon (1892) is an account of her pioneering safari of 1891, full of adventures and entertainment, from Mombasa to Kilimanjaro and around the previously unexplored Lake Chala. She was alone (other than her 138 Zanzibari porters) and dispensed to the tribal people 1000 rings inscribed with her name along the thousand plus mile route. The book brims with facts and observations on the local tribes, which got her elected as the first woman Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1892. Free eBook


Sylvia K Sikes

Lake Chad

Lake Chad by Sylvia K Sikes (1972). From 1955 to 2002, the author travelled on and around Lake Chad - the immense lake in the southern Saharan Desert. This book presents a record of her travels, adventures and observations during this time and illuminates the plight of the indigenous people whose way of life is being affected by climate change and modern development in Africa.


The Natural History Of The African Elephant

The Natural History Of The African Elephant by Sylvia K Sikes (1971) is considered to be one of the best and most comprehensive books on the African elephant



Cornelia Speedy

Cornelia Mary Speedy (nee Cotton) was the wife of Tristram Charles Sawyer Speedy (1836 - 1911) who was an English explorer and adventurer during the Victorian era. After a period in India, in 1878, Speedy and his wife spent some months in the Sudan which resulted in the travelogue published by his wife.

My Wanderings In The Soudan

My Wanderings In The Soudan by Cornelia Speedy (1884). Free eBook Vol I Free eBook Vol II



J K Stanford

Ladies In The Sun

Ladies In The Sun: The Memsahib's India 1790 - 1860 by J K Stanford (1962). What was life like for a woman on board an east-bound sailing vessel in the 19th century? And what sort of life was she going to when her vessel at last reached India? Drawing from diaries and letters from the time, this book attempts to answer those fascinating historical questions, so much a part of our history.


Frances Swayne

Frances Louisa Swayne (1850 - 1932) was the cousin of Sir Eric John Eagles Swayne (1863 - 1929), Commissioner, Commander-in-Chief and Consul General of the Somaliland Protectorate, and his big game hunter brother Colonel Harald George Carless Swayne (1860 - 1940) who served in the British military in Somaliland. Frances Swayne travelled to Somaliland in 1905-1906 as the guest of her cousins on a route taking her from Berbera to the Upper Sheikh, then east and west through the country during a short peaceful period in the region.

She was the daughter of physician Joseph Griffiths Swayne, a pioneer in anaesthetics, obstetrician and researcher into the cause of cholera. She was very well educated and worked at the University of London. As a woman of independent financial means, she travelled not only in Africa but also in Guatemala.

A Woman's Pleasure Trip In Somaliland

A Woman's Pleasure Trip In Somaliland by Frances Swayne (1907). In the preface the author's intention was to present the newly-freed Somaliland as a holiday resort suitable for lady travellers. However her book also includes a detailed description of the land and its peoples, an account of activities from hunting to mountain climbing with extensive and early photographs of the country.


Marion Tinling

Women Into The Unknown

Women Into The Unknown: A Sourcebook On Women Explores And Travelers by Marion Tinling (1989) is about the exploration and derring-do of 42 women who, individually or with another, ventured forth to parts unknown or little known in the 19th and 20th centuries. The accomplishment of each is sketched in biographical form that will variously intrigue, interest and fascinate readers.


Kay Turner

Serengeti Home

Serengeti Home by Kay Turner (1978) with a foreword by Bernhard Grzimek. The author, the wife of Serengeti Chief Game Warden, Myles Turner, lived for 16 years in the Serengeti and writes about the animals, the people, the safaris and the visitors.

Read the article about Kay Turner, The Night She Walked Through A Pride Of 18 Lions Sydney Morning Herald 1978

Thalia Zepatos

A Journey Of One's Own: Uncommon Advice For The Independent Woman Traveler

A Journey Of One's Own: Uncommon Advice For The Independent Woman Traveler by Thalia Zepatos (2000) are tales of cross-cultural encounters and self-discovery from a wide array of women with detailed advice on practical matters such as how to deal with sexual harassment, stay healthy, be safe and avoid theft.





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