BISHOP, ISABELLA (1832–1904), English traveller and author, daughter of the Rev. Edward Bird, rector of Tattenhall, Cheshire, was born in Yorkshire on the 15th of October 1832. Isabella Bird began to travel when she was twenty-two. Her first book, The Englishwoman in America (1856), consisted of her correspondence during a visit to Canada undertaken for her health. She visited the Rocky Mountains, the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, producing some brightly written books of travel. But her reputation was made by the records of her extensive travels in Asia: Unbeaten Tracks in Japan (2 vols., 1880), Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan (2 vols., 1891), Among the Tibetans (1894), Korea and her Neighbours (2 vols., 1898), The Yangtze Valley and Beyond (1899), Chinese Pictures (1900). She married in 1881 Dr John Bishop, an Edinburgh physician, and was left a widow in 1886. In 1892 she became the first lady fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and in 1901 she rode a thousand miles in Morocco and the Atlas Mountains. She died in Edinburgh on the 7th of October 1904.
See Anna M. Stoddart, The Life of Isabella Bird (1906).