It's the early 1880's and Mary Ninde (1858-1947) and a friend are set to be escorted on "the grand tour" of Europe by the father of one. However, business prevents him from being able to get them further than London and so they decide to go bravely on alone, armed only with letters of introduction and a plucky naivete unknown in our time. They traveled together for two
years! Their itinerary ranged as far north as the North Cape and south to the Nile and included in St. Petersburgh, Moscow, Palestine, Turkey, Naples, and Norway, among many others. It's great to travel with these girls as they mature into veteran travelers. Considering the time, I found them surprisingly tolerant of other cultures and willing to put up with the many discomforts of long-term travel. Not that they weren't victims of the thinking of their time, but I think their youth and enthusiasm made them more open than older travelers would have been. Fascinating also to read about what Europe and the Middle East were like over 100 years ago. Mary Ninde was the daughter of Bishop William X. Ninde and she eventually married a missionary in China, Frank Gamewell. She went on to write books her experiences in China. I imagine their trip must have begun in 1881 or 1882, making Mary 24 at the oldest. My edition has a beautiful gold-embossed cover and was printed in 1887, although it was first printed in 1885.