In the late 1800s, when women were bound by cumbersome clothing and strict Victorian scruples, a small band of astonishing women explorers burst forth to claim the adventurous life. What drew the five profiled in this book – three British, one American, one French – was Tibet, then the ultimate in exploration.
Nina Mazuchelli organized a small expedition, urging the party on when they were lost on a glacier.
Annie Taylor, a reckless, romantic missionary in China, knew her life was in danger the moment she crossed into Tibet.
Isabella Bird Bishop, sickly while at home, she was robust on her adventures: she was nearly 60 when she went to Tibet.
Fanny Bullock Workman plowed her way up Himalaya and Karakoram mountains, saying any woman could do so.
Alexandra David-Neel, at 56, trekked for eight months through tropical lowlands and snow-covered passes with only a backpack and a begging bowl.
Even by today’s standards these women’s accomplishments are remarkable.”