The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither
Paperback, 320 pages
Isabella Bird was a 19th-century English explorer, writer, and natural historian. In 1854 Bird's father gave her £100 and she went to visit relatives in America. She detailed the journey anonymously in her first book, The Englishwoman in America, published in 1856.
Following her mother's death in 1868, she embarked on a series of excursions to avoid settling permanently with her sister Henny on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. Bird could not endure her sister's domestic lifestyle, preferring instead to support further travels through writing. Many of her works are compiled from letters she wrote to Henny. The Golden Chersonese – the ancient name for the Malay Peninsula – is an evocative account, first published in 1883, of her final expedition to the East.
The book is a collection of twenty-three letters, in which she gives detailed descriptions of her travels and adventures in and around Malaya. The book includes fascinating accounts of many aspects of the region, including the people, culture, landscapes and wildlife.