Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Maiden Voyages: Writings of Women Travelers” as Want to Read:
Maiden Voyages: Writings of Women Travelers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Maiden Voyages: Writings of Women Travelers

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  94 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
This is a collection of women's travel writings, including work by Joan Didion, Edith Wharton, Mildred Cable, Willa Cather, Isak Dinesen, and others. In wry, lyrical, and sometimes wistful voices, they write of disguising themselves as men for safety, of longing for family left behind or falling in love with people met along the way, and of places as diverse as icy Himalay ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 28th 1993 by Vintage
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Maiden Voyages, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Maiden Voyages

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Apr 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: roots-and-place
I read this a while ago but must add it to my list so others can discover it too. It's a fascinating collection of stories of women travelers from the 1700s on, many (all?) written in the first person.
Jun 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
I've read this book several times and will probably read it again this summer. It is a remarkable look at incredible women that traveled the world in a time when it was taboo for women to travel alone. I highly recommend this book to anyone who can't travel but want to.
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Took me years to get this read. Enjoyed the adventure and bravery that are these women. Ready to pass it on!
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: womens-studies
There have always been women travelers, but they haven't been as prominent in the media's eyes and their works have perhaps garnered less attention than they should have. This book compiles the letters, short excerpts of novels of several women travelers over the past couple centuries.

Starting in the late 1600's, collections of writings from women traveler's have been compiled in this book and they span until the late 1900's. Some tell of adventures they took with their husbands. Others are sol
Christopher Sutch
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
This collection of excerpts from women travel writers ranges widely in both time and place (though more so in time, unfortunately). It does contain some fine work, some of which was relatively unknown to me (Boxcar Bertha's work was particularly interesting, I thought). Often, though, the pieces are a little long and tedious to read, and I was never clear on how the book was arranged (not by chronological order by birth of author; was it chronological by publication date???). The other thing tha ...more
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Mary Morris, a respected travel writer in her own right, compiled this sparkling, sometimes surprising anthology of women's travel writing. Edith Wharton, Margaret Mead, Willa Cather and Joan Didion - I only need mention these names to express the calibre of the work included.

It was so interesting to note each woman's reaction to a foreign culture, or to the act of traveling, itself. Some marveled, some removed themselves a slight distance, cooly observing; some immersed themselves in the experi
Jan 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love short stories because the writer conveys so much in a limitted space. I'm a New Yorker, I want more info in less time. I was given this book to read while vacation. It was perfects I picked short stories about travels in the country that I was going to visit. It was beautiful to parallel a writers view of a city with my own.
May 13, 2009 rated it liked it
This book took me forever to read. There are a many great stories in this tome but many I could have done without. On a positive note, this book pointed me towards some other great books to read, in full.
Dec 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
A collection of short pieces written by women travelers from the 17th century to the 20th. I took it along on my trip to England last summer as an appropriate book. The selections vary greatly in tone, length, subject and I tended to skip around a bit.
Jul 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Interesting excerpts of various accounts by women travelers from Spain to pre-WWII China. Some better than others, but none of the selections are very long. Good for whetting the appetite to read more from some of the contributors.
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Excellent selection of writings by women. The writings by women of the 19th century have been really interesting to read and see what sort of social and cultural issues they had to deal with at the time.
Nov 05, 2011 rated it liked it
As with many compilations, there were some pieces in here that were excellent, and some that were just enh. The sum total was that there were lengthy periods of time where I just could not bring myself to get through the rest of the book, although I enjoyed some of it when I finally did.
Jan 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
First-hand accounts of women's travels taken from journals, letters and/or books over the last 300 years. Early writings are a very interesting look at the limitations women faced. Nice "bedside" book of short stories.
Feb 11, 2008 marked it as to-read
SARK recommended.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it liked it
I enjoyed to contemporary travel accounts the most.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
“The lady tourist will ever be, to her sex at large, but a meteoric flash amidst the hosts of fixed stars that stud the sky (Crawford, 46).”
L Greyfort
Jul 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
Definitely an anthology to savor -- the selection of so many very different essays makes this a wonderful way to introduce oneself to new and fascinating writers -- take off with them!
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
inspiring and lovely
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
a terrifically entertaining book!
rated it liked it
Aug 27, 2008
Elsa Martin
rated it really liked it
Sep 14, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Oct 06, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2014
Vicki Rabanus
rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2009
Laura S
rated it liked it
Apr 26, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2011
rated it liked it
Feb 26, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2015
rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Unsuitable for Ladies: An Anthology of Women Travellers
  • Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers
  • On the Shores of the Mediterranean
  • The Geometry of Love: Space, Time, Mystery, and Meaning in an Ordinary Church
  • Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour
  • Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures Along China's Ancient Silk Road
  • The Best American Travel Writing 2007
  • The City at Three p.m.: Writing, Reading, and Traveling
  • The Best American Travel Writing 2006
  • In Search Of England
  • The People's Guide to Mexico
  • A Woman in the Polar Night
  • The Size of the World
  • Falling Off the Map: Some Lonely Places of the World
  • Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature
  • The Best American Travel Writing 2009
  • Letters from Iceland
  • Travels with Lizbeth: Three Years on the Road and on the Streets
I was born in Chicago and, though I have lived in New York for many years, my roots are still in the Midwest and many of my stories are set there. As a writer my closest influences are Willa Cather and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I travel as much as I can and travel fuels everything I do. When I travel, I keep extensive journals which are handwritten and include watercolors, collage as well as text. All ...more
More about Mary Morris...