Each morning I am reading a couple of biographies from Wayward Women. It’s my travel devotional in these COVID days providing inspiration to adventure. My local indie bookstore, Time Tested Books, found this paperback 2001 reissue for me. I feel lucky as it is out of print with few copies in circulation. (I hesitate to highlight it for this reason.)
The author Jane Robinson had the opportunity whilst working at an antiquarian bookstore, to read piles of travel memoirs and books written by women–especially in the period of 1850-1930. No one would read them today for tips on where to stay; however, they still inspire to push a little further from our comfort zone and relish our ability to travel without a chaperone!
Here’s a taste from The Honorable Mrs. Victor (Mildred Mary) Bruce [b. 1895]:
“The amazing Mrs. Bruce first started breaking records at the age of fifteen, when the police caught her doing 67 m.p.h. on her brother’s motor cycle and she became the first ever woman to be charged for speeding. From then on she never looked back.”
The writing is lively and the women are diverse, though I can’t help but notice that most of the women of Victorian era to WWII were women of title (i.e. means). For many reasons I am glad I am a traveller in this century. As soon as the vaccine is available to me, I will take it and pack my Away case to go!