Dronsart Marie – The Great travelers (part 2)
Dronsart Marie – Les grands Voyageuses (part 2: Great Britain): This anthology from 1894 gathers the stories of English travelers, who armed with “a small suitcase, an umbrella, a revolver or an Alpenstock” , went out to discover the world at a time when the habit for women was to stay at home and take care of the family.
Traveling alone or in the company of their husbands, they are not afraid of anything, even keeping a good dose of humor in the most scabrous situations. Some have lived a relatively scientific life, others have been mad adventurers; they have often kept a diary of their travels and their archaeological and ethnographic discoveries and brought back many objects that have enriched our museums.
Among the 25 portraits written by Marie Dronsart (whose biography is scarcely known except that she was a Stevenson translator, and died in 1901), there is Lady Wortley Montagu, the first English woman to stay in the East in 1717 and who brought back the vaccine against smallpox; Lady Hester Stanhope, who placed herself under the protection of the Bedouins to mount an expedition to Palmyra; Miss Gordon Cumming, first European in the depths of Japan; Lady Blunt, granddaughter of Byron, amateur nomad in the desert of Saudi Arabia; Lady Brassey who, despite her seasickness, went around the world sailing with her husband and 3 children; Lady Duff Gordon, adulated by the Egyptian people; Lady Dixie and her wild horses in Patagonia; Ms. Hore at Lake Tanganyika; Mrs. Innes in her Malay bungalow surrounded by tigers; Mrs. Bridges visiting a Tibetan Lamassery, or Miss North with Canadian settlers. Preferring the Alps to the antipodes, Miss Richardson, first woman to realize in 1888 the ascent of Meije (3’983 m.) And that of the edge of Bionnassey (4’052 m.) But the most moving was Miss Mardsen , a missionary who went to Eastern Siberia to help the lepers hidden in the vast forest of Yakutsk, summer and winter alike.
It is thanks to these courageous and knowledge-hungry women that the scientific world has learned a lot because their status as women has not dampened their enthusiasm, but instead stimulated them to overcome their condition and use their women’s advantage. to be able to communicate with other women and observe, among other things, the daily life of all these countries from within a home, from a family.