The contributions of female explorers - Courtney Stephens
During the Victorian Age, women were unlikely to become great explorers, but a few intelligent, gritty and brave women made major contributions to the study of previously little-understood territory. Courtney Stephens examines three women -- Marianne North, Mary Kingsley and Alexandra David-Néel -- who wouldn’t take no for an answer (and shows why we should be grateful that they didn’t).
1. Aside from their beauty, why were Marianne North’s paintings so useful to scientists back in Europe?
2. Women’s fashion of the time was quite restrictive. What fashionable item helped Mary Kingsley when she fell into a pit of thorns?
3. What did Alexandra David-Neel do when she was prevented from crossing the Tibetan border?
4. Can you think of a time that seeing or experiencing something new meant that you could never look at the world in quite the same way again? Explain.
5. Independence takes a lot of courage. Can you think of a time when you were afraid to say or do something that was different than the group, and a time when you were brave enough to ‘march to your own drummer?’ How did each situation feel at the time? How do you feel looking back on them?