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A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains

Isabella L. Bird

Book Overview: 

Isabella Bird began traveling while in her early twenties to help alleviate illness that had plagued her since childhood. She was a single woman in her early forties when she made her treck through the Rocky Mountains. A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains details this fascinating account of her travels through a series of letters written to her sister, Henrietta. These letters are filled with beautiful, vivid descriptions of the scenery, the people she encountered, the way of life, and a mountain man named Jim Nugent, that was as rough as they come, but a complete gentleman with Ms. Bird.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He is very fond of talking, and asks me a great deal about my travels, but if I speak favorably of the climate or resources of any other country, he regards it as a slur on Colorado.

They have one hundred and sixty acres of land, a "Squatter's claim," and an invaluable water power. He is a lumberer, and has a saw-mill of a very primitive kind. I notice that every day something goes wrong with it, and this is the case throughout. If he wants to haul timber down, one or other of the oxen cannot be found; or if the timber is actually under way, a wheel or a part of the harness gives way, and the whole affair is at a standstill for days. The cabin is hardly a shelter, but is allowed to remain in ruins because the foundation of a frame house was once dug. A horse is always sure to be lame for want of a shoe nail, or a saddle to be useless from a broken buckle, and the wagon and harness are a marvel of temporary shifts, patchings, and insecure linkings with st. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Very good tale, written in a series of letters to her sister in England, of Isabella Lucy Bird's extensive (and mostly solitary) travels in the Colorado Rocky Mountains during the late summer and fall of 1873. I am in complete awe of her - I'm pretty sure I would've curled up into a little ball and

OMG this is all true- the story of a 19th century woman-- so brave, adventurous and she is so matter-of-fact about it.

Isabella has traveled all over the worlds and sends detailed letters to her sister. She has lots of other books including about her time in Hawaii. After Hawaii, she travels to Colo

I LOVED it. She writes all about her travels through mainly Colorado and the people she meets. Its never just a catalog of facts and things, but an amazing account of the time period in the 'wild west' full of colors, emotions, vivid detail. Amazing woman.

An interesting travel-memoir, written as letters home by an Englishwoman of independent means, touring the Far West in 1873, centered on her time in Colorado, then the Union's newest state and still *very* rough around the edges. She does get to the major tourist attractions around today's Rocky Mou

Isabella Bird was an adventuring marvel, especially for the time (1800s) of her travels. At times I had to remind myself that I was reading non-fic as her bravery and escapades were truly remarkable! I love books depicting nature as well and she was thoroughly descriptive. Very descriptive.

"I cannot describe my feelings on this ride, produced by the utter loneliness, the silence and dumbness of all things, the snow falling quietly without wind, the obliterated mountains, the darkness, the intense cold, and the unusual and appalling aspect of nature. All life was in a shroud, all work

Isabella Bird was very ill, so her doctor sent her to America to regain some of her strength. When she set of from England for the first time, she was already a mature woman, considered a spinster by her sister's family and boring.

Over the course of the next decades, Bird would travel the world, sen

This fascinating book, a series of letters written in 1873 by Isabella L. Bird to her sister, documents the amazing adventure of a resourceful and daring Victorian woman. Its lush descriptions of the natural world (sunrises and sunsets, plant life, landscapes, animals, and all varieties of weather)

It's rare that I read Westerns due to the genre being one of the wrongest things that ever wronged in the history of United States' literature. Another one is the holiday being celebrated today by the US Federal Government, a day that my ongoing reads of Genesis and Almanac of the Dead has thrown in

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