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Laatste reis van Ida Pfeiffer, 1862.

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€650,00 EUR
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€650,00 EUR


A truly adventurous woman who broke with gender norms

Ida Pfeiffer (1797-1858); Oscar Pfeiffer.

Laatste reis van Ida Pfeiffer naar Madagaskar, door Duitschland, Nederland, de Kaap en Mauritius. Voorafgegaan door eene korte levensschets der schrijfster, volgens hare eigene aanteekeningen. Naar het Hoogduitsch. Met portret.

Utrecht, J.G. Broese, 1862.

8°. XL, 235 pp. With a lithographed portrait of the author by J.D. Steuerwald before the title, made for this edition.

Rare first Dutch edition of the last travel book of the first full-time woman traveller of all (see Robinson), who travelled around the world multiple times by herself. Ida Pfeiffer, born in 1797 in Vienna, defied societal norms by pursuing her dreams of adventure. She was raised with Spartan training meant for boys and after initially resisting femininity, she embraced her gender role when marrying an older lawyer. She eventually left her husband and at forty-five, she embarked on solo journeys around the world, gaining fame through detailed travelogues. Despite upholding traditional roles, Pfeiffer challenged social injustices and imperialism, subtly advancing female emancipation. Recent studies recognize her contributions to female empowerment and literature.
The present book describes her journey to Madagascar in 1857. She was accompanied by the French adventurer Joseph-François Lambert, who without Ida’s knowledge was planning a coup against the Malagasy Queen Ranavalona I. On June 20, this coup failed, and Queen Ranavalona had all involved Malagasy people executed. The European individuals who took part, including Pfeiffer, were imprisoned. In July, they were released and expelled from Madagascar. During the journey from the capital Antananarivo to the coast, Pfeiffer contracted an illness from which she would not recover, likely cancer or malaria. On October 27, 1858, she died in Vienna, and her account of this final journey was published posthumously in the book we offer here. Ida's son, Oskar Pfeiffer, provided her biography for the book.

Condition: portrait slightly stained, hinge split at first quire, number in ink on corner of title-page, last 5 pages foxed. Otherwise in good condition.


Robinson, Jane. Wayward Women: a Guide to Women Travellers. Oxford University Press, 1990.

Watt, Helga Schutte. “Ida Pfeiffer: A Nineteenth-Century Woman Travel Writer.” The German Quarterly, vol. 64, no. 3, 1991, pp. 339–52.


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