Two Roving Englishwomen in Greece
Isabel J. Armstrong (born c.1848) and her travelling companion Edith Payne were part of an increasing cohort of determined women entering territory deemed unsuitable for ladies: travel. Women such as Isabella Bird (whose work is also available in this series) and Mary Kingsley had defied social convention in order to explore the world around them. Their independence of spirit and thirst for knowledge made them inspirational role models. Little is known of Armstrong and Payne other than what is recorded in this engaging account of their Greek adventures, about which 'the general opinion seemed to be that we were going out to be murdered'. First published in 1893, the book depicts a country whose traditions and way of life were in danger of being swept away by the advance of modern technology. Incorporating vivid descriptions of Piraeus, Olympia, Thessaly and the monasteries of Meteora, the narrative is charmingly illustrated with Armstrong's own sketches.