Endlessly restless and endlessly curious, Isabella Bird (1831-1904) travelled the world looking for new experiences, but never more delightfully than in her pony-bound adventures in the Colorado Territory at a time when it was only notionally under the control of the American authorities. A vanished world of grizzly hunters, cowboys, isolated cabins and plagues of rattlesnakes is here beautifully brought back to life.
Great Journeys allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries – but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: Great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.