Fourteen essays provide a challenging outlook on narratives by women explorers and travellers from five different continents, spanning nearly one century from 1850 to 1945. The map thus drawn enables one to revisit, restore, and reassess the content and the originality of these narratives by women. The essays are relevant to the fields of travel writing and gender studies, and all draw from referential contemporary theoretical and critical works (Michel Foucault, Homi Bhabha, Edward Said, Roland Barthes, Michel de Certeau, Gilles Deleuze, Sara Mills, Kristi Siegel, and Jane Robinson). The main interest and originality of the volume result from the perspectives adopted by the different authors. The text-oriented analyses rely on close reading, thus definitely providing accurate and perceptive critical insights into the narratives. Such perspective precludes erasing the differential features characterizing each geographical space and each travelling subject. It also moves away from any temptation at creating a naturalized mythical image of these women.
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2009. VIII, 199 pp., num. ill.
Contents: Béatrice Bijon/Gérard Gâcon: Introduction: Excursions into Women’s Travel Writing – Jane Robinson: Supporters or
Subversives? Mixed Messages from Women Travellers in the Theatre of War – Carmen Birkle: Traveling and the Discourse of Economy
in Nancy Prince’s Travel Narrative – Hélène Cheynet: «Travellers Are Privileged to Do the Most Improper Things with Perfect
Propriety.» Isabella Bird’s A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains – Elisabeth Bouzonviller: Klee Wyck: A Canadian
Exploration amidst a Totem Pole Forest – Floriane Reviron: Isabella Bird’s in Japan: Unbeaten Tracks in Travel Literature
– Gérard Gâcon: An Emancipated View of the Other: Fanny Parks in India – Hubert Malfray: «There is a Happy Land, Far,
Far Away»: Anna Leonowens or the (Re)Tracing of Harem Life – Arnaud Moussart: A Woman Time-Traveller: Time in Daisy Bates’
The Passing of the Aborigines – Jessica Langer: Time, Space, and Perception in Freya Stark’s Baghdad Sketches
– Carole Bourne-Taylor: Between Distance and Empathy: The Representation of the Desert in Lady Anne Blunt’s Pilgrimage
to Nejd (1878-79) – Joan Rees: Amelia Edwards’s Nile Journey – Valerie Kennedy: Kingsley’s Multiple Voices in Travels
in West Africa – Gérard Gâcon: The Mangrove Deciphered: Mary Kingsley and West Africa – Béatrice Bijon: Vivienne de Watteville’s
Speaking to the Earth: «Living Outside Time and Space» in Africa.