A LETTER FROM ISABELLA BIRD BISHOP (Isabella Lucy, née Bird, 1831-1904, Traveller & Authoress)

Important Autograph Letter signed ‘Isabella L. Bird’ to Rev. Dr William Garden BLAIKIE (1820-1899, Scottish Minister, Writer, Biographer and Temperance Reformer), saying that “On Friday or Saturday I hope to send you my first paper on the Sandwich Islands. I hope the sub-editor will not take this as any encouragement to put in unwarranted announcements for the future, and that you will regard it as a work of most meritorious supererogation! We were at Oban for nearly three weeks, as usual in drowning rain. I fear there will be a great division in the congregation. There is a very bad spirit among a Section of the people which did not spare their pastor even on his death bed. Mr Cameron’s quiet heroism during his illness and his bearing towards his people gave another proof of the greatness with which eternity often invests men who are not great by nature. One could not form a higher wish for one’s own death than that it should be as holy and serene as his was. It is perfectly warm and sultry in London. I don’t wonder that the heat of India makes... daughter in law feel as if she ‘must be lazy’. It is hotter by far than the tropical Sandwich Islands. I heard ‘Father Ignatius preach like a reformer and pray like a revivalist, and the Bishop of Carlisle preach a most childish sermon to a miniscule crowd in the nave of Westminster Abbey on Sunday. I hope to hear Mr Dykes next Sunday, but the London distances are enormous and I retain my prejudice against the employment of men or beasts on Sunday...”, ending by asking him to acknowledge receipt of her manuscript, 3 sides 8vo., 16 Oakley Square, London, N.W. no date but annotated as

Isabella suffered from poor health throughout her life, particularly from back problems. She found that travel to distant parts alleviated her symptoms which is quite extraordinary considering the discomfort of nineteenth century travel, but may suggest that some of her ailments were psychological. By 1878 she had already visited America, Australia, New Zealand and the Sandwich Islands and then she spent seven months in Japan. She married Dr Bishop in 1881 after the death of her sister Henrietta Amelia but started travelling again in 1886 after his death. She studied medicine & went on to found hospitals in Kashmir, the Punjab and elsewhere in memory of her husband and her sister. In 1892 she was elected the first lady F.R.G.S.
Bird left Britain in 1872, going initially to Australia, which she disliked, and then to Hawaii (known in Europe as the Sandwich Islands), her love for which prompted her second book (published two years later). While there she climbed Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
Isabella Bird was one of the most liberated and strong minded women of the mid nineteenth century and her books remain popular. She also published ‘The Englishwoman in America’, 1856, ‘The Hawaiian Archipelago’, 1875, ‘A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains’, 1879
Blaikie went in 1839 to Edinburgh to complete his theological studies under Thomas Chalmers. In 1842 he was presented to the parish of Drumblade as their minister by the Earl of Kintore, to whose family he was connected. The Disruption of 1843 reached its climax immediately afterwards, and Blaikie was one of the 474 ministers who signed the deed of demission and gave up their livings. In 1864 he was asked to undertake the Scottish editorship of the Sunday Magazine, and much of his subsequent writing was done for this magazine, especially in the editorial notes

Item Date:  1874

Stock No:  42144      £575

             Add to Wish List     Order/Enquire

BISHOP-42144-1.jpg BISHOP-42144-2.jpg

<< Back

HyperLink      HyperLink      ABOUT SOPHIE   |   CONTACT SOPHIE   |   TERMS & CONDITIONS