The Hawaiian Archipelago: Six Months Amongst Palm Groves, Coral Reefs, and Volcanoes of the Sandwich Islands

Isabella Lucy Bird

Published by ReadaClassic.com, 2010
ISBN 10: 1611040167 / ISBN 13: 9781611040166
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Synopsis: “The Hawaiian Archipelago” is a great eyewitness account of Hawaii in 1863, by one of the era's most intrepid travelers, after it had been impacted by its collision with the American and European powers but while it was still a robust independent Kingdom and before its forced assimilation into the USA. Isabella Bird visited the Sandwich Islands in 1871, when she was forty. Her letters home to her sister Henrietta have a remarkable freshness and spontaneity, and reveal the transformation of a Victorian invalid into a fearless horsewoman and enthusiastic mountain-climber, who thought nothing of riding for miles soaked with rain and fording terrifyingly swollen rivers. She undertook a thirteen-hour unaccompanied trek to the summit of the extinct volcano of Mauna Kea, revelling in the security with which she was able to travel and camp out without guides or companions. At the end of her stay she was able to make the perilous ascent to the summit of Mauna Loa, the largest volcano in the world, camping for the night on the edge of the crater, at nearly 14,000 feet. Isabella Bird's travel writing is a wonderful look at the world at the turn of the last century. Her writing is fluid and clear and her insights into people and places are gentile but pointed. In “The Hawaiian Archipelago,” Isabella Bird is at her best, giving the reader a fascinating and insightful taste of the old Hawaii.

About the Author: Isabella Lucy Bird (1831–1904) was a nineteenth-century English traveller, writer, and a natural historian. Bird was born in Boroughbridge in 1831 and grew up in Tattenhall, Cheshire. Time spent in Britain always seemed to make her ill and, following her mother's death in 1868, she embarked on a series of excursions to avoid settling permanently with her sister Henrietta (Henny) on the Isle of Mull. Bird could not endure her sister's domestic lifestyle, preferring instead to support further travels through writing. Many of her works are compiled from letters she wrote home to her sister in Scotland. Bird finally left Britain in 1872, going first to Australia, which she disliked, and then to Hawaii (known in Europe as the Sandwich Islands), her love for which prompted her second book (published three years later). While there she climbed Mauna Loa and visited Queen Emma. She then moved on to Colorado, then the newest member of the United States, where she had heard the air was excellent for the infirm. Dressed practically and riding not sidesaddle but frontwards like a man (though she threatened to sue the Times for saying she dressed like one), she covered over 800 miles in the Rocky Mountains in 1873. Her letters to her sister, first printed in the magazine Leisure Hour, comprised her fourth and perhaps most famous book, A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains. Featured in journals and magazines for decades, Bird was by now something of a household name. In 1892, she became the first woman inducted into the Royal Geographical Society.

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Title: The Hawaiian Archipelago: Six Months Amongst...
Publisher: ReadaClassic.com
Publication Date: 2010
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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