Living with Cannibals and Other Women's Adventures

Living with Cannibals and Other Women's Adventures

by Michele B. Slung

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The spirit of adventure sweeps through the chapters of this exciting volume as we encounter the inspiring, sometimes tragic, often humorous tales of adventurous women -- from the 18th century to the 21st century.

Selected from National Geographic's rich archives, this colorful group portrait pairs female adventurers of the past with their contemporary counterparts -


The spirit of adventure sweeps through the chapters of this exciting volume as we encounter the inspiring, sometimes tragic, often humorous tales of adventurous women -- from the 18th century to the 21st century.

Selected from National Geographic's rich archives, this colorful group portrait pairs female adventurers of the past with their contemporary counterparts -- in a "then and now" approach.

You'll meet Arctic explorers -- an American heiress who crisscrossed ice fields seven decades ago, along with a celebrated New Zealander who skied alone to both North and South Poles in the 1990s. You'll also join in the atmospheric exploits of Shannon Lucid and Amelia Earhart as they take off on those daring flights that wrote a new pages in the annals of aviation.

Tour the world with women who defied Victorian convention to venture alone among the headhunters of Borneo or to see first hand the hidden corners of Africa, India, and Japan. Witness world record-breaking moments by such latterday legends as Sylvia Earle, whose explorations of the ocean floor earned her the nickname, "Her Royal Deepness," and Catherine Destivelle, the beautiful French superstar of modern mountaineering.

Featuring photographs, art, and period illustrations, as well as an introduction by Reeve Lindbergh and a 1,500-year time line of women's adventuring, Living With Cannibals offers vivid testimony to the wanderlust, daring, and determination of these intrepid journeyers.

Whether kayaking remote Tibetan rivers or bottle-feeding baby orangutans, bicycling to India or battling icebergs off the coast of Greenland, each woman profiled here demonstrates her unswerving devotion to a dream.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The idea for this wonderful survey of some now-forgotten female adventurers came from Susan Fifer Canby, the National Geographic Society's librarian, who supplies a charming afterword and a bibliography. Veteran author/editor Slung (Slow Hand, Crime on Her Mind, etc.) was a wise choice to create these brief, tantalizing profiles of 16 women from the last two centuries. She brings life and insight even to familiar subjects like primatologists Dian Fossey and Birut Galdikas. Some of her subjects are emblematic of scientific progress in certain fields, like pioneer aviator Amelia Earhart, who is paired with Mir astronaut Shannon Lucid. While the more modern women, such as alpinist Catherine Destivelle or Helen Thayer (who trekked to the North Pole with only a husky for help and companionship), accomplish awesome physical feats, the truly fascinating accounts are those of women in the 19th and early 20th centuries, who faced cultural prejudices, went into uncharted territories and often described their travels in exceedingly popular books: California socialite Louise Arner Boyd voyaged to and photographed the Arctic; bourgeois Vienna housewife Ida Pfeiffer lived among headhunters and cannibals; privileged New Englander Fanny Bullock Workman climbed peaks in India in the early 1900s. This small volume will find many fans among readers interested in learning about extraordinary women's lives and will likely whet the appetite for reissues of the pioneers' early books. 40+ b&w illus. not seen by PW. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal - Library Journal
It is often difficult to encourage interest in women's history, but this well-written account does so easily. Slung, the best-setting author and editor of more than a dozen books and frequent contributor to Victoria magazine, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, describes here how 16 female explorers from the 1700s to the present broke all societal rules by embarking on just as adventurous travels as men did. The author has gathered many fascinating details of their travels (for example, some women traveled in full female attire and in a ladylike fashion on elephants and mules over the mountains) as well as quotes from their journals, which he obtained from the National Geographic Society archives. These brave women emerge as recognizable people with real flaws and desires-their personalities come alive in a way many women's biographies rarely get across. Harriet Chalmers Adams, for example, broke her back falling off the cliffs of the Balearic Islands at age 52 but later explored Spain, Africa, and Asia Minor. Isabella Bird bishop started traveling in 1854 to improve her health and ended up traveling across North America, Australia, Central Asia, and North Africa. This interesting and approachable account is highly recommended for all libraries.-Alison Hopkins, Queens Borough P.L., Jamaica, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Drawing on the National Geographic archives, Slung (Murder and Other Acts of Literature, 1997, etc.) deftly highlights 16 noted women adventurers who climbed mountains, met with cannibals, and lived in space. A graceful introduction by Reeve Lindbergh suggests that these women's endeavors were explorations of the limitless inner spaces of the spirit that their journeys revealed to them as much as they were explorations of unknown external terrain. Women like the photographer and Arctic explorer Yva Momatiuk ("stick me on a hill in the Arctic for a week and I'll be fulfilled") or the once-ailing Isabella Bird Bishop (who in the mid-1800s began traveling the globe, venturing as far north in the Canadian wilderness as Hudson Bay, and found that "knocking about, open air life, in combination with sufficient interest, is the one in which my health and spirits are best"). Divided into eight sections (each sharing such common themes as flight or exploration in Africa), the profiles range in time from the 18th century to the present—a range that is a pertinent reminder that the intrepid woman of spirit and curiosity is not merely a contemporary phenomenon. Slung introduces women like Austrian Ida Pfeiffer (who survived encounters with cannibals and headhunters in Borneo and Sumatra, and explored the Brazilian rain forest), French rock climber Catherine Destivelle (who has climbed the north face of the Eiger and the challenging Nameless Tower in the Karakorams), Shannon Lucid (who spent time on the Mir space station), Louise Arner Boyd (a wealthy debutante who explored and photographically documented the Arctic in the 1920s and '30s), and Florence Baker (a Hungarian whowasrescued from slavery in Turkey and discovered a source of the Nile River with her husband Sam in the 1860s). Intriguing introductions to remarkable women that whet rather than satisfy the appetite.

Product Details

National Geographic Society
Publication date:
Adventure Press Series
Product dimensions:
4.06(w) x 5.96(h) x 0.53(d)

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