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A LADY'S LIFE IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
Author: Isabella L. Bird

Originally published in 1879.

In 1854, at the age of twenty-two, Isabella Bird left England and began travelling as a cure for her ill health. Over the years she explored Asia, the Sandwich Islands, Hawaii, and both the Eastern and Western United States.

A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains contains letters written by Bird to her sister during her six-month journey through the Colorado Rockies in 1873. Travelling alone, usually on horseback, often with no clear idea of where she would spend the night in what is mostly uninhabited wilderness, she covers over a thousand miles, most of it during the winter months. A well-educated woman who had known a comfortable life, she thinks nothing of herding cattle at a hard gallop, falling through ice, getting lost in snowstorms, and living in a cabin where the temperatures are well below zero and her ink freezes even as she writes. She befriends desperados and climbs 14,000 foot mountains, ready for any adventure that allows her to see the unparalleled beauty of nature. Her rare complaints have more to do with having to ride side-saddle while in town than with the conditions she faces. An awe-inspiring woman, she is also a talented writer who brings to life Colorado of more than one hundred years ago.


Softcover edition


Annotated edition

This illustrated edition of the letters, annotated by Ernest S. Bernard, sheds light on ambiguities and obscurities in Bird’s letters and contains additional details about the frontier Rocky Mountain West.

In addition to a map of Bird’s 1873 route and contemporary photographs, this includes an appendix that illustrates and charts the course of her historic ascent of Longs Peak.

$8.95 (softcover)
$29.95 (hardcover)
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