Bird, Isabella - A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains. Folio Society, 1989, 2nd impression. Born in 1831, the sickly daughter of a clergyman, Isabella Bird was the most unlikely adventurer ever to take to 'the congenial life of the wilds'. She was forty-two when she arrived in America 'in search of health', and her account of her travels in the Rockies, from the pioneer settlements, with their saloons and gaming tables, to the 'great braggart city of Denver', from the endless prairies of Cheyenne to the sublime wilderness of Estes Park, Colorado, is wholly absorbing. 'I say Miss B, we've got to drive wild cattle today; I wish you'd lend a hand.' And lend a hand she did, wearing her Hawaiian riding costume and mounted astride horses of highly individual character. But perhaps the most unlikely aspect of her adventures concerned her intense friendship with 'Rocky Mountain Jim'. Throughout her travels she had been impressed by the courtesy and respect with which she was treated by American men, and her 'dear Desperado', with his handsome face, chivalrous manner and violent reputation all but completely won her over. She kept her head, if not her heart. 'He's a man any woman might love', she wrote, 'but no sane woman would marry.' Her book - a best-seller from the moment it was published in 1879 - confirms the verdict of the Spectator critic who declared: 'There never was anybody who had adventures as well as Miss Bird.' (Folio Society). 10" x 6", 202pp plus 11 plates, cloth printed overall in pale grey and grey-blue with an illustration, black blocked spine panel, silver blocked spine lettering, hardback. Printed on laid paper. Illustrated in monochrome with historical material. Slightly sunned spine; fine; complete with very good plus (slight marks) sound, original slip-case.
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