In the Arms of the Sky

Earl Murray, Author Forge $22.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-86123-0
By the time she arrived in Colorado in 1873, via San Francisco and the Sierras, 40-something Isabella Bird, one of Victorian England's freer spirits and most popular travel writers, had already completed solo explorations of Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. It was her intention to be the first woman to climb Long's Peak, the highest point in the Colorado Rockies, a feat she ultimately achieved with the help of a one-eyed outlaw by the name of Rocky Mountain Jim Nugent. In fairly pedestrian prose, Murray (Flaming Sky) offers a fictionalized chronicle of the nearly four months Bird spent in Colorado and her struggle to attain this dream in spite of the bears, hostile settlers, incompetent guides and injuries she met along the way. Much of the story focuses on her relationship with Nugent, who, in this telling, was the only man Bird ever truly loved. Snippets of Bird's own writing open each chapter; those who suspect that the real Isabella Bird was a far livelier woman than the one who appears on these pages might well be tempted to seek out A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains, which served as Murray's inspiration. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1998
Release date: 09/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-8125-5143-3
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