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Isabella Bird

Isabella Bird was born in Yorkshire County, England, in 1831. She was a sickly girl but had a forward-thinking doctor who prescribed travel as an antidote to the insomnia and blues she suffered after an 1850 operation. She traveled by steamer to the eastern United States and Canada, and upon returning, published her first book, The Englishwoman in America. She hated the title, but the gig—travel, then write—felt like a fit.

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