The Yangtze Valley and Beyond - An Account of Journeys in China, chiefly in the Province of Sze Chuan and among the Man-Tze of the Somo Territory - Mrs J. F. (Isabella L. Bird) Bishop 1900 - G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York - First American Edition (First English Edition 1889) A lovely set of the two volume American first edition, describing the remarkable journey through China in 1896-1897 by that intrepid lady traveller Isabella Bird, first female member of the Royal Geographical Society and doyenne of all women travel writers. A a far handsomer edition than the single volume published a year earlier in the London, with 116 illustrations and a folding colour map.

‘Many of the areas she explored and carefully described were almost unknown to European visitors and had not been mentioned in any earlier English publications. Based on journal letters and the diary written during her journey, and it is generously illustrated with photographs and Chinese drawings. Bishop's work was warmly received in England and praised especially for the information included on agriculture and industry. The Geographical Journal heralded the work as 'undoubtedly one of the most important contributions to English literature on that country'. It remains a key source for late nineteenth-century British perceptions of China.’ -–
Cambridge University Press.
  Isabella Lucy Bird (1831-1904) began her travelling career quite late in life. Occupied with caring for her parents until she was forty, by which time Bird herself had succumbed to a debilitating spinal complaint, depression, and insomnia, travel was prescribed as an antidote – the remedy to which she became addicted. She visited and wrote about countless countries, her vast experiences awarding her the honour of becoming the first women to be elected into the elite Royal Geographical Society. Frailty she did not tolerate, and at the age of 68, rode a thousand miles in Morocco and the Atlas Mountains.

Provenance: Volume one with neat contemporary name of Susana Loveland dated 1900, volume two Charles Fee dated 1916

References: Cordier
Sinica 355. Robinson, Wayward Women 1990. The British Medical Journal, 1933, web. The Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity, web.

Two octavo volumes (book size 22.7 x 15.7 cm) pp. [2] xii [2] 410 [2 (publisher’s ads)] [2]; [4] vii [3] 376 [1] [2 (publisher’s ads)] [4]. In publisher’s navy blue ribbed cloth lettered in gilt to spines, front boards with gilt lettering and vignette of Chinese gate and pagoda, top edges gilt, others untrimmed.
  Condition: Near fine, light rubbing to corners and spine ends, one or two very minor marks to cloth, internally fine.   Ref: 109238   Price: HK$ 8,000