Review by Choice Review
Netzley provides a wealth of information about women who have first accomplished a travel- or exploration-related feat. The 315 entries, arranged alphabetically, focus on a wide variety of women explorers, adventurers, and travelers throughout history and across continents. Most entries are biographical, but some examine related topics such as accommodations, solo travel, guide books, and mountaineering, occasionally offering perceptive insights into women's travel experiences and motivations ("men have historically traveled for adventure, enjoyment, physical challenge, financial reward, and perhaps fame; women primarily for self-discovery, enlightenment, and education"). Entries are also provided by type of travel (e.g., travel writers, political correspondents, Peace Corps volunteers), as well as by various modes of travel. For further reading, each entry includes helpful references to books and Web sites. An appendix ("Bibliography of Works Consulted") omits many of the titles cited within the text but includes some Web sites. Recommended for larger public libraries and academic libraries supporting women's studies programs. A. E. Bonnette University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
Women travelers and explorers have been largely ignored in favor of their male counterparts. Few histories record that Sir Samuel White Baker, explorer of Lake Albert in Africa, was accompanied by his wife, Florence. Although women's role in travel and exploration has received more attention recently, an encyclopedic treatment is long overdue. This volume covers women explorers, tourists, mountain climbers, writers, geographers, anthropologists, archaeologists, missionaries, and more. Although the 315 entries are primarily biographical, there are also entries for continents, travel guides, clothing, transportation, and other travel-related topics. A number of black-and-white illustrations and further reading lists add value. The work concludes with a bibliography of 80 volumes and 40 Web sites and an index with main entries in bold type. Entries vary in length from several paragraphs to several pages. A typical entry is the half-page article on Alexine Tinne (1835-1869), the Dutch explorer who searched for the source of the Nile and collected botanical specimens until she was killed trying to be the first European woman to cross the Sahara desert. More general entries, such as Disguises and Pirates, cover two or three pages. There are a few inconsistencies and omissions. For example, the picture caption and article on Mary Bosanquet (1918-1969), who rode a horse across Canada in the 1930s, give contradictory information. Although early figures such as St. Helena and Margery Kempe are included, Eleanor of Aquitaine's famous trip to Jerusalem with the Crusaders is not. A work such as this saves a number of important women from obscurity. Comparable titles include Women into the Unknown: A Sourcebook on Women Explorers and Travelers (Greenwood, 1989), which treats just 42 women, and Wayward Women: A Guide to Women Travelers (Oxford, 1990), which covers 400 women, mostly British, whose travel accounts were published in book form. The Encyclopedia of Women's Travel and Exploration is more comprehensive and is recommended for school, public, and academic libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.