Trailblazing Women Adventurers


Books by and about women who, before "women's lib" and "equal opportunity" became household terms, sought personal and professional fulfilment in ways that involved travel and the breaking of the boundaries of their expected role/behavior as the female of the species. It's of little relevance what field they were engaged in (science, aviation, linguistics, archeology, photography, journalism, or whatever else) -- as long as we're looking at true-blue pre-women's lib trailblazing travelers!
1 West with the Night
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 13,038 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2 My Journey to Lhasa: The Cl...
by
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 554 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3 The Valleys of the Assassin...
by
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 476 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4 Straight on Till Morning: t...
by
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 710 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5 Passionate Nomad: The Life ...
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 572 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6 Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and...
by
3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 2,909 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7 A Lady's Life in the Rocky ...
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 1,000 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8 Around the World in 72 Days
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 118 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9 走得越远,离自己越近 The Farther I Wa...
by
4.83 of 5 stars 4.83 avg rating — 6 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10 The Splendid Outcast: Beryl...
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 163 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11 Come, Tell Me How You Live
by
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 1,106 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12 Gertrude Bell: Queen of the...
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 1,045 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13 A Voyager Out: The Life of ...
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 50 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14 Spinsters Abroad: Victorian...
by
3.17 of 5 stars 3.17 avg rating — 36 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15 Immortality and Reincarnati...
by
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 8 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16 The Bolter: Edwardian Heart...
by
3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 2,378 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17 Magic and Mystery in Tibet
by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 390 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18 East To The Dawn: The Life ...
by
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 409 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19 Ten Days in a Mad-House
by
3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 1,610 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20 Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Repo...
by
3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 66 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20 Margaret Bourke-White: Phot...
by
4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 28 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22 Black Lamb and Grey Falcon
by
4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 1,020 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23 Full Tilt: Ireland to India...
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 1,029 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24 The Face of War
by
4.28 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 170 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25 Travels With Myself and Ano...
by
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 594 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26 Hot Flashes from Abroad: Wo...
by
3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 9 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27 Jane Goodall: The Woman Who...
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 506 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28 Women Explorers in Africa
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 5 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28 Dreaming of East: Western W...
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 28 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28 Unsuitable for Ladies: An A...
by
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 75 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31 Women Travelers: A Century ...
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 28 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32 I Was Amelia Earhart
by
3.42 of 5 stars 3.42 avg rating — 1,399 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33 Sacajawea
by
4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 10,834 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34 Fanny Stevenson: A Romance ...
by
4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 50 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35 China to Me
by
4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 55 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36 Au Coeur Des Himalayas. Sur...
by
3.5 of 5 stars 3.50 avg rating — 14 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37 Selected Letters
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 18 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38 The Southern Gates of Arabi...
by
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 82 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39 Amelia Earhart: The Sky's N...
by
3.19 of 5 stars 3.19 avg rating — 79 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40 The Sound of Wings: the Lif...
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 221 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40 Last Flight
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 75 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40 Amelia Earhart: Young Aviator
by
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 83 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43 You Have Seen Their Faces
by
3.49 of 5 stars 3.49 avg rating — 45 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44 The Photographs Of Margaret...
by
4.5 of 5 stars 4.50 avg rating — 14 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45 Gellhorn: A Twentieth-Centu...
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 284 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46 Bombay Anna: The Real Story...
by
3.33 of 5 stars 3.33 avg rating — 57 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 No Place for a Lady: Tales ...
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 85 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 James Tiptree, Jr.: The Dou...
by
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 663 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 A Wayfarer in China
by
3.5 of 5 stars 3.50 avg rating — 2 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 On a Farther Shore: The Lif...
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 328 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Martha Ann's Quilt for Quee...
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 43 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 A Vision Of Eden: The Life ...
by
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 8 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 The Riddle of the Labyrinth...
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 1,238 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Women of Discovery: A Celeb...
by
4.26 of 5 stars 4.26 avg rating — 23 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Breaking Trail: A Climbing ...
by
4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 389 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 The Sisters of Sinai: How T...
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 345 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Women of the Four Winds
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 39 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Paddling My Own Canoe
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 41 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Revolutionary Heart: The Li...
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 26 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Blackberry Winter: My Earli...
by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 228 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Florence Nightingale
by
4.47 of 5 stars 4.47 avg rating — 19 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Wild: From Lost to Found on...
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 167,291 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Tisha: The Wonderful True L...
by
4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 2,478 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47 Ipanema Turtles: A South Am...
by
4.5 of 5 stars 4.50 avg rating — 4 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65 A Scandalous Life: The Biog...
by
4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 455 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65 Hidden Latitudes: A Novel o...
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 63 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65 The Virago Book of Women Tr...
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 47 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65 Reflections of Eden: My Yea...
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 354 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65 Annapurna: A Woman's Place
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 852 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65 No Hurry to Get Home: The M...
by
4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 116 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65 Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek...
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 2,969 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65 Out of Africa
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 16,333 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65 Grania: She-King of the Iri...
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 806 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65 Grandma Gatewood's Walk: Th...
by
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 631 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75 Ada, the Enchantress of Num...
by
3.1 of 5 stars 3.10 avg rating — 40 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75 Around the World on Two Whe...
by
2.82 of 5 stars 2.82 avg rating — 154 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75 The Nomad: The Diaries of I...
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 113 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75 The Story of Anna and the King
by
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 7 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75 Mayflower Madam: The Secret...
by
3.46 of 5 stars 3.46 avg rating — 193 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80 Dorothy Thompson: A Legend ...
by
3.5 of 5 stars 3.50 avg rating — 8 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80 Victorian Lady Travellers
by
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 14 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80 Tents in the Clouds: The Fi...
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 25 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80 The Bronte Sisters: The Bri...
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 377 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80 Dark Horse: A Life of Anna ...
by
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 5 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85 America's Girl: The Incredi...
by
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 26 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85 Mary Leakey
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85 Sarah (Women of Genesis, #1)
by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 8,540 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85 If Life Is a Bowl of Cherri...
by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 9,075 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
89 A Small Part of History
by
3.34 of 5 stars 3.34 avg rating — 74 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
89 One Up: A Woman in Action w...
by
4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 13 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91 Unbeaten Tracks in Japan
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 120 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91 Breakfast the Night Before:...
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 7 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
93 Among the Tibetans
by
3.47 of 5 stars 3.47 avg rating — 77 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
93 The Grass Is Always Greener...
by
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 7,091 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95 The Lives of Beryl Markham:...
by
3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 87 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95 Six Months in the Sandwich ...
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 106 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95 On the Beat
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98 Beryl Markham: Never Turn Back
by
3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 3 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98 Travels in West Africa
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 379 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98 In the Shadow of Man
by
4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 3,694 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
72 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
2521 books
490 friends
Renee
Renee
2344 books
90 friends
J.E.
J.E.
3 books
2 friends
MandyM
MandyM
5116 books
482 friends
Janet
Janet
1763 books
18 friends
Saturday's
Saturday's
628 books
22 friends
Bea
Bea
9 books
0 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jan (last edited Jan 27, 2012 06:17AM) (new)

Jan All-right, define adventurers, because I have this urge to add a bunch of books about the famous female primate scientists, who weren't explorers per se, but did a whole lot of that during their research.

Also, there's a more contemporary primate scientist as well, who also comes to mind.

And I know I've got a book somewhere about female archaeologists in Africa (looking for the missing link) would they count?


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Women who, before "women's lib" and "equal opportunity" became household terms, sought personal and professional fulfilment in ways that somehow involved travel and the breaking of the boundaries of their expected role/behavior as the female of the species. Doesn't matter what field they were engaged in. Scientists, aviators, linguists, archeologists, photographers, journalists ... bring them all on!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Is fiction supposed to be on this list? Because Crocodile on the Sandbank is a novel.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Fiction BY the women explorers in question is OK, as long as it is at least partially based on their experience -- however this is basically a list intended to highlight real women explorer's achievements (in whatever field). (For an example of the kind of fiction I mean, see Beryl Markham's short stories set in Africa and collected in Splendid Outcast: Beryl Markham's African Stories.)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Crocodile on the Sandback is a comic mystery novel, by a modern Egyptologist, about a fictional Victorian Egyptologist.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Susanna wrote: "Crocodile on the Sandback is a comic mystery novel, by a modern Egyptologist, about a fictional Victorian Egyptologist."

Yes, I know ... and it's a great book (and series), too. Just not one that I think would fit in with this list, I'm afraid ... :( (Markham's stories are essentially thinly-veiled snippets of autobiography.)


message 7: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jan 27, 2012 12:08PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads In that case, should it stay on the list?

ETA: It is indeed a very fun read.


message 8: by Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) (last edited Jan 27, 2012 12:12PM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Whops, hadn't noticed that it's already on the list! No, indeed it shouldn't ... I'll take care of that then.

ETA: Removed.


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann Great list! I adore books about intrepid women - women who didn't let the strictures of society hold them back.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Thank you -- and so do I! :) I'm happy to see there seem to be so many like-minded folks ... on this site, anyway!


message 11: by Wanda (new)

Wanda Would this one fit the list - Out of Africa?


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Wanda wrote: "Would this one fit the list - Out of Africa?"

Hmm. I didn't add Out of Africa (or, for that matter, Huxley's Flame Trees of Thika) myself because when I created the list I was primarily thinking of women who weren't just trailblazers of women's lib but in whose lives travel and exploration played a big part as well. I guess you could argue that moving to Africa to run a farm there is travel of a sort as well -- and of course Karen Blixen WAS a trailblazer in all sorts of ways. I'm just not sure if, by and large, I'm not thinking of a somewhat less "sedentary" (for lack of a better word), or overall more transient life. Then again, maybe this is just my pro-Markham bias speaking ...


message 13: by Janet (new)

Janet What about Marriane North who travelled the world in the 17th. c. painting trees & flowers, or Maria Sybila
Merian who traveled in 16th.c. painting butterflies,
or the woman who discovered longitude (just getting
started on this one) there are many amazing women
who have left thier mark on the world without much recognition.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Janet wrote: "What about Marriane North who travelled the world in the 17th. c. painting trees & flowers, or Maria Sybila
Merian who traveled in 16th.c. painting butterflies,
or the woman who discovered longitud..."


Great ideas, Janet, do feel free to add books by or about all of these. (Everybody can do so; there is a tab up top next to "all votes.")


message 15: by Malika (new)

Malika Surprised to see 'Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail' by Cheryl Strayed isn't on this list. It is quite modern compared to others on this list.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Is it about before "women's lib"?


back to top



Anyone can add books to this list.