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On Top of the World: Five Women Explorers in Tibet

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  45 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Describes the adventures of five Victorian women, English, American, and French, who explored Tibet.

I. English lady travelers: Nina Mazuchelli, Annie Taylor, Isabella Bird Bishop --
II. American mountaineer explorer: Fanny Bullock Workman --
III. French scholar adventurer: Alexandra David-Neel
Paperback, 222 pages
Published August 18th 2014 by Mountaineers Books (first published January 1st 1984)
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Catherine Stickann
It is a pleasure to review a book that tells the story of five women that explore the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet. Three of the women are English travelers, one is an American and one is a French scholar. These women were often dressed in traditional Victorian dress while climbing at 17,000 feet plus. They were brave and inventive about their travels across borders and onto land no women had traversed. I found most interesting, Alexandra David-Neel a scholar of Buddhism. She could speak and rea ...more
Mary
Dec 22, 2010 Mary rated it it was amazing
Incredible explorations by women, usually traveling independently, in 19th and 20th century. Some kept their fastidious European culture and dress, others entered totally into the culture. Isabella Bird, later Bishop, is familiar from her Rocky Mountain explorations, but also spent years exploring in Asia. Fanny Bullock Workman with her husband explored and climbed extensively, accomplishing incredible feats of endurance. Alexandra David-Neel was a celebrated Tibetan and Buddhist scholar, who sp ...more
Sharon Huether
Oct 23, 2014 Sharon Huether rated it it was amazing
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Karmen
Oct 18, 2014 Karmen rated it really liked it
All the women featured in this book undertook their journeys in their 40s and later. A feat unimaginable, when many did not live much longer than 40-50.

Annie Taylor's story is amazing. A missionary, as many of the early explorers were, she almost made it to Lhasa, Tibet, only to be turned back by soldiers. She was almost on her town, accompanied only by 5 Asians; two later died. The Tibetan military arranged for her return to India with escort and as it took place in the winter, took over 4 mont
...more
Cindelu
Oct 21, 2014 Cindelu rated it liked it
I won this book on Goodreads.

This book told the fascinating stories of 4 women who lived from the 1850's to early 1900's. These women dared to defy societies norms and traveled extensively in the regions of China and Tibet where even few men dared to go.
They climbed mountains, forded rivers, endured freezing cold and horrible heat. They fought off bandits with a whip, often went hungry and endured miserable living conditions.
These were middle to upper class women who had never encountered these
...more
Lori
Oct 18, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it
Great collection of the adventures of female explorers. Although each woman had their own unique experiences (an entourage of servants, a bicycle, mastery of the Tibetan language), it took a great amount of courage and fortitude to travel through mountain passes and dangerous terrain, especially during such an early period in our history.
K.
Oct 07, 2007 K. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir-biography
Inspiration for travels! Thumbnail biographies of the great wild nineteenth-century women travelers: Nina Mazuchelli, Annie Taylor, Isabella Bird Bishop, Fanny Bullock Workman, and Alexandra David-Neel. I think possibly Caryl Churchill created Top Girls after reading this.
Sandra
Dec 10, 2008 Sandra rated it really liked it
The book was a little too scholarly to make for enjoyable reading. But learning about five extraordinary women 100 to 150 years ago trekking for months through snow-covered mountain passes was amazing.
Mary
May 12, 2008 Mary rated it liked it
Wow- climbing mountains in a corset and dress. Oh wait, she's strapped to a chair on the back of a sherpa!
This book is a super interesting look at some daring women in the early 1800's who managed to (mostly) buck convention and travel the mysterious east.
Melissa B
Nov 17, 2014 Melissa B rated it liked it
I received this book through GoodReads First Reads.
A true history-lover's book. I learned much from this book. These women were pioneers, way ahead of their time. Truly remarkable women proving that they could do what only men in that era did.
Samantha
Oct 22, 2014 Samantha rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
An extremely inspiring book. These women had guts and courage beyond measure. I wish I could be half of what they were. An eye opening read I would recommend to anyone.
Sandra
Oct 22, 2014 Sandra rated it it was amazing
I won this book from goodreads. This is an extremely inspiring book about women past their 40's traveling and showing guts and courage beyond measure..this is a must read to all
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