A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains (unabridged)

Audio Sample

Isabella Bird

A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains

Read by Clare Wille


From sickly child to pioneering Victorian explorer, Isabella Bird defied convention. After back surgery in 1850 and the recommendation of life in the open air, she finally looked her malaise and her pain in the eye and set off across the world completely alone. In Colorado she covered 800 miles on horseback, climbing mountains, wrangling cattle, sleeping in snow and finding herself drawn to a violent, one-eyed outlaw with a soft spot for poetry, known as ‘Mountain Jim’. With the writing skills to match her spirit of adventure, she documented her journey in these letters to her sister, which were published as a collection in 1879. She was a true trailblazer – a Victorian woman of 4’11” with debilitating pain who chose to blow open life’s limits.

Audiofile – Earphones Award
  • Running Time: 7 h 44 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-467-3
    Cat. no.:NA0584
    Produced by:Neil Rosser
    Edited by:Timothy Brown
    BISAC:BIO023000, BIO022000
    Released:July 23
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Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

What a treat it is to listen to Clare Wille perform this engrossing narrative by nineteenth-century British travel writer and naturalist Isabella Bird. The audiobook consists of a series of letters that Bird wrote to her sister during Bird’s travels throughout the American West in the late nineteenth century. Wille’s wonderfully expressive tone, bright English intonation, and exceptionally clear enunciation accentuate Bird’s extraordinary writing. Whether by a sharp observation, or a few descriptive sentences, Bird precisely illuminates her adventurous trips by horseback and train, the locals she meets, and the remarkable landscapes and wildlife she views. Wille’s wondrous performance transforms this collection into a theatrical experience for the ears. Listeners should be forewarned of language employed for various ethnic groups that will offend contemporary sensibilities.

M.J., AudioFile

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