Isabella L. Bird, 1831-1904


Biographical note

One of the great Victorian-era women travellers. Born in England in 1831, her first journey was for health reasons, to Canada and the United States, in 1854. Her account of this journey was a great success, but another twenty years elapsed before her extensive travels began. Her first major journey was in 1873, to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the Rocky Mountains. In 1877 she travelled to Japan, Hong Kong, China and Malaya. On her return she married Dr. John Bishop. When he died in 1886, she began travelling again: after training as a nurse, she went to Tibet. In 1890, she travelled as part of a military expedition to Persia, and in 1897 covered over 8000 miles in China and Korea. Her last journey, in 1904, was to Africa.

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