Isabella Bird: An Argument for Mobility and a Changed Definition of New Womanhood

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to download the PDF file.


McCloskey, Natalie Sujae




I argue that mobility and ideas of New Womanhood were mutually constitutive by the late nineteenth century onwards. Through Isabella Bird’s writing and biographies, I find that she, and by extension others of the fin-de-siècle, connected mobility with Christianity and modernity in a Western imperialist context. Her biographers are discussed as representatives of each generation’s feminist view of New Women. I focus on Bird’s writing about Korea, where she advocated missionaries and views on race and Orientalism in ways that were not simply echoes of contemporary British jingoist ideas. For example, she concluded that Russia should take over Korea after the First Sino-Japanese War. Studying Bird reevaluates and historicizes the definition of New Womanhood by emphasizing how privileges of mobility and Christian missionizing were assumptions built into fin-de-siècle writing by “New Women,” despite how late thinkers characterized them as secular progressives, like the feminist movement. 


European History
History - Modern
Women's Studies




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 


Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

Items in CURVE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. They are made available with permission from the author(s).