Fanny Bullock Workman

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Fanny Bullock Workman
Fanny Bullock Workman.jpg
Personal information
Birth name Fanny Bullock
Main discipline Mountaineer
Born January 8, 1859
Worcester, Massachusetts
Died 22 January 1925(1925-01-22) (aged 66)
Cannes, France
Nationality American
Career
Notable ascents Skoro La Glacier
Mount Bullock Workman
Koser Gunge
Chogo Lungma Glacier
Pyramid Peak
Nun Kun
Pinnacle Peak
Hispar Glacier
Biafo Glacier
Siachen Glacier
Indira Col
Famous Partnerships William Hunter Workman
Family
Spouse William Hunter Workman
Children Rachel and Siegfried

Fanny Bullock Workman (January 8, 1859 – January 22, 1925) was an American geographer, cartographer, explorer, travel writer, and mountaineer, notably in the Himalaya. She was one of the first female professional mountaineers; she not only explored but also wrote about her adventures. She achieved several women's altitude records, published eight travel books with her husband, and championed women's rights and women's suffrage.

Born to a wealthy family, Workman was educated in the finest schools available to women and traveled in Europe. Her marriage to William Hunter Workman cemented these advantages, and, after being introduced to climbing in New Hampshire, Fanny traveled the world with William. The couple was able to capitalize on their wealth and connections to travel extensively around Europe, north Africa, and Asia. The couple had two children, but Fanny was not a motherly type; they left their children in schools and with nurses, and Fanny saw herself as a New Woman who could equal any man. The Workmans began their journeys with bicycle tours of Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Algeria and India. They cycled thousands of miles, sleeping wherever they could find shelter. They wrote books about each trip, with Fanny frequently commenting on the state of women's lives that she saw. Their early bicycle tour narratives were better received than their mountaineering books.

At the end of their cycling trip through India, the couple escaped to the Himalaya for the summer months and fell in love with climbing in these mountains. They returned to this unexplored region eight times over the next 14 years. Despite not having modern climbing equipment, the Workmans explored several glaciers and summited several mountains, eventually reaching 23,000 feet (7,000 m), a women's altitude record. They organized multiyear expeditions but struggled to remain on good terms with the local labor force. Coming from a position of American privilege and wealth, they failed to understand the position of the native workers and had difficulty with finding and negotiating for reliable porters.

After their trips to the Himalaya, the Workmans gave lectures about their travels. They were invited to learned societies; Fanny became the first woman to lecture at the Sorbonne and the second to speak at the Royal Geographical Society. She received many medals of honor from European climbing and geographical societies and was recognized as one of the foremost climbers of her day. She demonstrated that a woman could climb in high altitudes just as well as a man and helped break down the gender barrier in mountaineering.

Early life[edit]

Fanny Workman learned her love for climbing on Mount Washington.

In January 1859, Fanny Bullock was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, to a wealthy and aristocratic family descended from the Pilgrims; she was the youngest of three children. Her mother was Elvira Hazard, and her father was Alexander H. Bullock, businessman and Republican Massachusetts governor.[1][2][3] Raised by governesses and then sent to Miss Graham's Finishing School in New York City, Fanny subsequently moved to Paris and then Dresden.[4] Thomas Pauly writes in his short biography of Workman that "early on Fanny chafed at the constraints of her privilege", and a small number of stories survive describing her "early enthusiasm for adventure".[1] In one, "A Vacation Episode", she describes a beautiful and aristocratic English girl who is contemptuous of society. She runs away to Grindelwald, becoming an excellent alpinist and marrying an American. The story encapsulates much of Fanny's own life: wanderlust, a love of the mountains, and a commitment to women's rights.[5]

In 1879, Fanny returned to the United States and on 16 June 1881 married William Hunter Workman, a man 12 years her senior. Workman was also from a wealthy, aristocratic, and educated family, having attended Yale and received his medical training at Harvard.[6][7] In 1883, they had a daughter, Rachel.[6]

William introduced Fanny to climbing after their marriage,[4] and together they spent many summers climbing in the White Mountains in New Hampshire where Fanny summited Mount Washington (6,293 feet (1,918 m)) several times.[8][3] Climbing in the Northeastern United States allowed Fanny Workman to develop her climbing abilities in consort with other women. Unlike European clubs, American climbing clubs in the White Mountains allowed women to be members and encouraged women to climb. They promoted a new version of the American woman, one who was both domestic and athletic, and Workman took to this image with enthusiasm. By 1886, more women than men were hiking up Mount Washington.[9] In her paper on the gender dynamics of climbing in the region, Jenny Ernie-Steighner states that this formative experience shaped Workman's commitment to women's rights, pointing out that "no other well-known international mountaineers of the time, male or female, spoke as openly and fervently about women's rights".[10] However, both of the Workmans disliked the provincial nature of life in Worcester, and yearned to live in Europe. After both Fanny's and William's fathers died, leaving them enormous estates, the couple left on their first major European trip, a tour of Scandinavia and Germany.[6]

Move to Europe and cycling tours[edit]

In 1889, the Workman family moved to Germany, citing William's health, although Pauly speculates that William's health may have been a pretext for the move as he recovered "surprisingly fast".[6] The couple's second child, Siegfried, was born shortly after they arrived in Dresden.[6] Although Fanny and William now had two children, Fanny refused to conform to the role of "devoted mother" and instead became an "adventurer and author".[11] She lived, as Luree Miller has put it, "a vigorous life" which "was the antithesis of idealized femininity in the late 1800's". She was "a staunch feminist [and] regarded herself as positive proof that women could equal and even excel over men in the arduous life"; she embodied the New Woman ethos of the day.[12] Moreover, as Miller points out in her book about women explorers, since the ideal family of the time was a large one and information about birth control was not easily available, William's medical knowledge must have been invaluable.[13] The Workmans left their children with nurses while they took long trips and even missed their daughter's wedding in 1912 while exploring in the Karakoram.[14] In 1893, Siegfried died from a combination of influenza and pneumonia.[15] After his death, according to Pauly, Workman "aggressively pursued an alternative identity, one that liberated her from the conventional responsibilities of wife and mother and allowed for her interests and ambitions" and she seized on the bicycle as the way the achieve this.[15]

Together, the Workmans explored the world and co-wrote eight travel books. The books describe the people, art, and architecture of the areas through which the couple journeyed; they were aware of contributing to the genre of travel writing, commenting on other writers in their own works.[16] Their mountaineering narratives were less about culture since they were traveling to remote and uninhabited regions. In these, they attempted to write for a scientific audience as well as a popular audience. They thus included both "lyrical descriptions" of the sunset as well as detailed explanations of geographical features, such as glaciers.[17] One reason Fanny and William added scientific elements to their writings was to appeal to authoritative organizations such as the Royal Geographical Society. In particular, Fanny believed it would make her more legitimate in the eyes of the climbing community, but it cost her readers.[18] In general, their bicycling tour narratives were better received than those about their mountaineering exploits.[19] Fanny wrote the majority of these travel books and in them she commented extensively on the plight of women wherever she traveled.[11][20]

Stephanie Tingley writes in her encyclopedia entry on Workman's travel writing that there is an "implicit feminist criticism of women's hardships and inferior social status" in the societies she encountered.[21] She was "a strong-willed, outspoken exponent of the rights of women...[and she] used their combined travels as a living demonstration of her own capabilities" as well as a way to highlight the inequities other women lived under.[20] However, these travel books are written in the first-person plural or third-person singular, so it is difficult to decisively attribute views or voices to either William or Fanny.[21] The Workman's works are colonialist in that they describe the people they meet and observe as "at best as exotic or unusual, at worst as primitive or even subhuman".[21] However, at times they are aware of their own biases, demonstrating that the people they encounter see them in a similar light.[21]

Between 1888 and 1893, the Workmans took bicycling tours of Switzerland, France, and Italy. In 1891, they traveled to Switzerland and Fanny became one of the first women to climb Mont Blanc.[22] She also was one of the first women to climb the Jungfrau and the Matterhorn. Peter Taugwalder, who had made the first ascent with Edward Whymper, was her guide up the Matterhorn.[4] In 1893, the couple decided to explore areas beyond Europe and headed for Algeria, Indochina, and India.[20] These longer trips were Fanny's idea.[23] The couple's first long journey was a 2,800 miles (4,500 km) bicycle trip across Spain in 1895; each of them carried 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of luggage and they averaged 45 miles (72 km) a day, sometimes riding up to 80 miles (130 km). Afterwards, they co-wrote Sketches Awheel in Modern Iberia about their trip.[23] In it, they described Spain as "rustic, quaint, and charming", a common travel writing motif that did not make their book fresh or original.[24] In Algerian Memories Fanny focused on the beauty and romance of the countryside, avoiding any commentary on the appalling urban conditions. However, she did highlight the "commonplace" abuse and neglect of women.[24]

Cycling tour of India[edit]

Fanny Bullock Workman on her bicycle tour of India (c. 1897)

The Workmans' trip to India, Burma, Ceylon, and Java lasted two and a half years, beginning in November 1897, and covered 14,000 miles (23,000 km); at the time, Fanny was 38 and William 50. They bicycled about 4,000 miles (6,400 km) from the southernmost tip of India to the northern mountains. In order to ensure that they had access to supplies, they rode along major thoroughfares near railways, and were sometimes forced to sleep in railway waiting rooms if no other accommodation was available. They carried minimal supplies, including tea, sugar, biscuits, cheese, tinned meats, water, pillows, a blanket for each of them, writing materials, and medical and repair kits.[25] They dispensed with their bicycles at the northern end of their trip and hiked over passes between 14,000 feet (4,300 m) and 18,000 feet (5,500 m).[26][25] Their trip was grueling. They often had little food or water, dealt with swarms of mosquitoes, fixed as many as 40 bicycle tire punctures per day, and slept in rat-infested quarters.[27] Fanny Workman's book, written after the trip, highlighted the ancient architecture that they had seen rather than the contemporary culture.[26] The Workmans had an unusual amount of historical knowledge about India for Westerners of the time and had read the Jakata, Mahabarata, and Ramayana before their trip. They were eager to learn about the culture that had produced these epics and spent more time seeking out ancient history than interacting with living people.[27]

Labor issues[edit]

During the summer of 1898, the couple decided to escape the heat and explore the western Himalaya and Karakoram. They intended to explore the area around Kanchenjunga and then traverse to Sikkim and finally the mountains bordering Bhutan on the east. Bureaucratic difficulties and weather problems abounded and impeded their plans.[28] The most serious problems arose over labor. They hired 45 porters, outfitted them for basic mountain travel, and bought provisions, but costs skyrocketed as news of wealthy Americans circulated in the villages. They could not leave until October 3 and by then cold weather was approaching.[28] The Workmans complain in their writings that the local porters that they did hire were "slow and uncooperative",[26] refusing to trek more than 5 miles (8.0 km) per day.[28] Three days into their journey the Workmans reached snow and the porters rebelled; they refused to work in such cold conditions and forced the entire party to return to Darjeeling.[26] The Workmans struggled with labor problems continually, needing local porters to carry gear for them because they could not carry a sufficient amount for themselves for a multi-month expedition. They had to carry Mummery tents, eider sleeping bags, camera equipment, scientific instruments, and a large supply of food.[29][30] The porters were skeptical of the entire venture.[30] Climbing mountains was not indigenous to the local culture, nor was taking orders from a woman, which made Fanny's position especially difficult.[30] The Workmans tried to solve these problems with condescension and high-handedness. Kenneth Mason maintains in his history of Himalayan mountaineering written in 1955 that "The Workmans were, on their journeys, the victims of their own faults. They were too impatient and rarely tried to understand the mentality of the porters and so did not get the best out of them."[31] Labor problems beset all of their expeditions because, as Miller puts it, "Almost alone of Victorian travellers, the Workmans had absolutely no sympathy or even common-sense understanding of the local people, into whose poor and remote villages they burst with trains of followers demanding service and supplies."[32] In her chapter on Workman, Miller argues that the couple, being American, did not have the same sense of caste or class that British explorers had: "the Workmans, like most of their countrymen, plunged in their enterprises headlong, expecting their enormous energy to overcome all obstacles. They were justifiably criticized by the British for their callous, incompetent behavior toward the Indians."[33]

Mountaineering in the Himalaya[edit]

"We had breathed the atmosphere of that great mountain-world, had drunk of the swirling waters of its glaciers, and feasted our eyes on the incomparable beauty and majesty of its towering peaks, and, as time passed on, its charms asserted their power anew and called to us with irresistible, siren strains to return yet once again to those regions, the grandeur of which satisfies so fully the sense of the beautiful and sublime."
—William and Fanny Workman, The Call of the Snowy Hispar[29]

After their first trip to the Himalaya, the Workmans became entranced with climbing and mountaineering. Over the span of 14 years, they traveled eight times to the Himalaya. At the time, the Himalaya was almost completely unexplored and unmapped.[23][34] Their trips were made without the benefit of modern lightweight equipment, freeze-dried foods, sunblock, or radios. On each expedition, they explored, surveyed, and photographed, ultimately reporting on their findings and creating maps.[34] The couple shared and alternated responsibilities; one year Fanny would organize the logistics of their journey and William would work on the scientific projects and the next year they would reverse roles.[35]

After their first trip to the Himalaya and subsequent labor problems, the Workmans hired Matthias Zurbriggen, the best and most experienced mountain climbing guide of the time.[36] Thus, in 1899, with 50 local porters and Zurbriggen, the Workmans began to explore the Biafo Glacier, but dangerous crevasses and poor weather forced them instead to explore the Skoro La Glacier and the unclimbed peaks around it. They reached Siegriedhorn, an 18,600 feet (5,700 m) summit that she named after her son, giving Fanny an altitude record for women at the time.[37][23] They next camped at 17,000 feet (5,200 m) and climbed a higher peak of 19,450 feet (5,930 m), naming it Mount Bullock Workman.[38] Admiring the view of a far-off mountain, they commented on the grand view: they were looking at K2, the second-highest mountain in the world. Fanny Workman may have been the first woman to see it.[39] Finally, they climbed Koser Gunge (20,997 feet (6,400 m)), giving Fanny her third successive altitude record for women.[40] It was very challenging: they had to hire new porters, establish a new base camp, and camp overnight at around 18,000 feet (5,500 m). In the morning, they climbed a 1,200 feet (370 m) wall, and were buffetted by winds. During the summit push, Fanny's fingers were so numb that she could no longer hold her ice ax and one of the porters left them. Pauly writes, "propelled to the summit by adrenalin and desperation, the foursome lingered only long enough for their instruments to assess that the temperature was ten degrees Fahrenheit and their elevation was 21,000 feet."[38] Fanny was a "slow, relentless, and intrepid" climber; "bearlike, she solidly planted one foot and then groped for another secure grip with the other". Climbing at the beginning of the 20th century, she did not have specialized equipment like pitons or carabiners that would help later climbers so much. She was able to climb to such heights, Pauly argues, because of "her dauntless persistence and her immunity to altitude sickness".[38]

As soon as she was able, Fanny Workman published accounts of her feats, such as an article in the Scottish Geographical Magazine.[41] Writing about this trip at length in Into the Ice World of the Himalayas, Fanny made efforts to include scientific information and experiments, touting her own modified barometer as superior, but scholarly reviewers were unimpressed and pointed out her lack of scientific knowledge.[42] Popular reviewers, on the other hand, enjoyed the book. One reviewer in The Standard, wrote "We have no hesitation in saying that Dr. and Mrs. Workman have written one of the most remarkable books of travel of recent years."[16]

Workman with climbing gear. As one commentator writes, "even though pantaloons were acceptable sporting women's dress at the time, Workman wore skirts – while cycling thousands of miles across Europe and Asia, climbing Himalayan peaks, and negotiating crevasses." [23]

In 1902, the Workmans returned to the Himalaya and became the first Westerners to explore the Chogo Lungma Glacier, starting in Arandu.[40][31] They hired 80 porters and took four tons of supplies, but their explorations were limited by near-constant snow and a 60-hour storm.[43] In 1903, they explored the Hoh Lumba Glacier with guide Cyprien Savoye. They also attempted to climb the nearby mountain they called Pyramid Peak. They camped the first night at 16,200 feet (4,900 m) and the second at 18,600 feet (5,700 m). An ailing porter forced them to camp the third night at 19,355 feet (5,899 m) rather than 20,000 feet (6,100 m) and they eventually left him behind. They ascended a 22,567 feet (6,878 m) peak, giving Fanny a new altitude record. William and a porter climbed toward the needlelike spire that was the expedition's goal. However, he abandoned the summit attempt a few hundred feet from the top because he realized they could not have descended to a safe altitude in time.[44]

After returning from their travels, the Workmans lectured all over Europe. Fanny lectured in English, German, or French, as the occasion required. At one lecture in Lyons, France, 1000 people crowded into the auditorium and 700 were turned away.[45] In 1905 Fanny became the second woman to speak before the Royal Geographical Society. (Isabella Bird Bishop was the first in May 1897.)[40][46] Her talk was mentioned in The Times.[47]

The Workmans returned to Kashmir in 1906, and were the first Westerners to explore the Nun Kun massif. For this trip, the couple hired six Italian porters from the Alps, 200 local porters, and Savoye returned as guide.[18] As Isserman and Weaver explain in their history of Himalayan mountaineering, the Workmans despised the local porters but were forced to hire them; "their otherwise invaluable books read like one long, anguished harangue against the lazy, lying, thieving, mutinous cheats on whom they unhappily depended for local support".[48] They planned a sequence of four camps from 17,657 feet (5,382 m) to 21,000 feet (6,400 m). Despite labor problems, the Workmans spent the night higher than any previous mountaineers – 20,278 feet (6,181 m) on top of Z1 on Nun Kun – what they called "Camp America".[49][50] William wrote of Fanny that

She concentrated her attention on the end in view, often disregarding the difficulties and even the dangers that might lie in the way of accomplishment. She went forward with a determination to succeed and a courage that won success where a less determined effort would have failed. She believed in taking advantage of every opportunity. She was no quitter, and was never the first to suggest turning back in the face of discouraging circumstances.[35]

The maps the Workmans made during this trip were poor. According to Mason, the couple "had a poor sense of topographical direction" and the measurements they made were inaccurate. The map was so "faulty" that it could not be used by the Survey of India.[51]

Pinnacle Peak and altitude record[edit]

Mount Kun (center) and Pinnacle Peak (left) from the Suru Valley

From 20,278 feet (6,181 m), at the age of 47 in 1906, Fanny Workman climbed up to Pinnacle Peak (22,735 feet (6,930 m)) (what she believed to be 23,263 feet (7,091 m), her "greatest mountaineering achievement". As Isserman and Weaver point out, that she "climbed the mountain at all, without benefit of modern equipment and encumbered by her voluminous skirts, speaks to both her ability and resolve" and she set an altitude record for women that would stand until Hetti Dhyrenfurth's 1934 ascent of Sia Kangri C (23,861 feet (7,273 m)).[52] Believing that they had now both climbed above the 23,000 feet (7,000 m) mark, Fanny and William "moved to establish themselves as the foremost authorities on thin air".[18]

Fanny vigorously defended her altitude record against all other claimants, especially Annie Peck. Fanny's claim was based on her ascent of Pinnacle Peak, a subsidiary peak in the Nun Kun massif of the western Himalaya. In 1908, Peck claimed a new women's altitude record with her climb of Peru's Huascarán, which she believed to be 23,000 feet (7,000 m). However, she was misinformed as to the peak's height and exaggerated distances she could not measure.[53] Fanny was so competitive that she paid a team of French surveyors from the Service Géographique de l'Armée US$13,000 to measure the elevation of the mountain, which was actually 22,205 feet (6,768 m), giving Workman the record at the time.[23][54] Pauly explains in his brief biography of Fanny Workman, "Ironically, her determination to prove herself the equal of any man at lofty elevations culminated with a withering attack on an American woman who tried to surpass her".[11] Determined to be the best woman, Fanny was also a meticulous record-keeper so that she could prove her accomplishments. Pauly explains, "If Fanny Workman ever receives the recognition she deserves for her feminist determination to excel at this then-male sport, she will surely be remembered as much for her insistence upon accurate record-keeping as for the elevations she achieved."[11]

Hispar and Siachen Glaciers[edit]

Fanny Workman on the Silver Throne Plateau holding up a newspaper that reads "Votes for Women"

In 1908, the Workmans returned to the Karakoram and explored the 38 miles (61 km)-long Hispar Glacier in the Hunza Nagar region; they went from Gilgit to Nagir over the Hispar pass (17,500 feet (5,300 m)) and onto the 37 miles (60 km)-long Biafo Glacier to Askole.[31] Their total traverse of the glaciers was another record; and Fanny became the first woman to traverse any Himalayan glacier of this size.[54] They were the first to explore its many side glaciers and the maps created by their Italian porters helped map the region for the first time.[55] They made "observations of the physiological effects of high altitude" and "they studied the structure, movement and particular phenomena of ice and glaciers, and the nature and development of ice pinnacles. They took maximum and minimum sun and shade temperatures, prismatic compass observations, and altitude measurements with both aneroid barometers and boiling point thermometers".[56]

The Workmans' exploration of the Rose Glacier and the 45 miles (72 km)-long Siachen Glacier in Baltistan around Masherbrum in 1911 and 1912 was "the crowning achievement of their careers" as it was "not only the longest and widest subpolar glacier in the world" but also "the least explored and least accessible" at the time.[52] For two months, the Workmans explored the 45-mile glacier, climbed several mountains, and mapped the area. They spent the entire time over 15,000 feet (4,600 m), the high point being Indira Col which they summitted and named.[57] On this expedition, one of their Italian guides fell into a crevasse and died; Fanny was lucky to escape. The others were badly shaken but decided to carry on.[58] Fanny led them across the Sia La pass (18,700 feet (5,700 m)) near the head of the Siachen Glacier and through a previously unexplored region to the Kaberi Glacier. This exploration and the resulting book were her "triumph".[59] Fanny Workman organized and led this expedition. As she wrote in her book about the trip, Two Summers in the Ice-Wilds of Eastern Karakoram, "Dr. Hunter Workman accompanied me, this time, in charge with me of commissariat and as photographer and glacilaist, but I was the responsible leader of this expedition, and on my efforts, in a large measure, must depend the success or failure of it".[60] At one 21,000 feet (6,400 m) plateau, Fanny unfurled a "Votes for Women" newspaper and her husband snapped an iconic picture.[61][23] They took trained Alpine guides and surveyors, namely Grant Peterkin and Surjan Singh,[62] therefore, unlike the many other maps the Workmans helped create, their map of the Siachen Glacier remained unchallenged for many years.[63]

Later life and death[edit]

Monument dedicated to Fanny Bullock Workman, Rural Cemetery Worcester, Massachusetts (Plot 1500 Sec. 31)

After their 1908 trip, the couple stopped exploring and turned to writing and lecturing, primarily because of the start of World War I in 1914.[64] Fanny became the first woman to lecture at the Sorbonne in Paris.[23] She was also one of the first women to be admitted as a member of the Royal Geographical Society, a distinction she earned because her publications included scientific reflections on glaciation and other phenomena.[11] Fanny also earned medals of honor from 10 European geographical societies and was eventually elected a member of the American Alpine Club, Royal Asiatic Society, Club Alpino Italiano, Deutscher und Österreichischer Alpenverein, and Club Alpin Francais.[23] Fanny was very proud of these achievements, listing them on the title pages of her books.[34]

Fanny fell ill in 1917 and died after a long illness in 1925 in Cannes, France. Her ashes were buried in Massachusetts and now reside, along with her husband's, under a monument in Rural Cemetery that reads "Pioneer Himalayan Explorers". In her will, she left US$125,000 to four colleges, Radcliffe, Wellesley, Smith, and Bryn Mawr.[65][23][66][64][2] William wrote that she "was greatly interested in the higher education of women and in their advancement to an equality with men in social, literary, scientific, and political fields".[67]

Legacy[edit]

"The object of placing my full name in connection with the [Siachen Glacier] expedition...is not because I wish in any way to thrust myself forward, but solely that in the accomplishments of women, now and in the future, it should be known to them and stated in print that a woman was the initiator and special leader of this expedition. When, later, woman occupies her acknowledged position as an individual worker in all fields, as well as those of exploration, no such emphasis of her work will be needed; but that day has not fully arrived, and at present it behooves women, for the benefit of their sex, to put what they do, at least, on record."
—Fanny Workman, Two Summers in the Ice-Wilds of Eastern Karakoram[67]

Women in climbing[edit]

Along with Annie Peck, Fanny Workman was recognized during the early 20th century as one of the most famous female climbers in the world.[68] Their rivalry demonstrated that women could climb in the remotest and most difficult terrain of the world, and that they were equal to male mountaineers. It was not until the Peck's and Workman's feats that women had been involved in mountaineering at all. In the Himalaya, in particular, mountaineering had been dominated by wealthy Englishmen.[69] It was not until well after World War I that any other women climbed in the Himalaya, when, as one scholar put it, "modern equipment coupled with team climbing enhanced the success and reduced the risk of such ventures".[70] Workman herself was "concerned that her readers appreciate how her contributions to the field of mountaineering reflected women's potential for achievement in the field of work" and she was "an ardent and outspoken feminist and advocate of votes for women".[17] In her writings, Workman describes herself as "questioning or violating the norms of Victorian female propriety". She demonstrates that women are strong enough to thrive outside the home by showing "how easily she endures the physical demands of bicycling long distances in hot humid places or the rigors of mountaineering in high altitudes and cold temperatures".[60] Workman was challenging a masculine realm; her obituary in The Alpine Journal alluded to the challenges she faced, saying that she "felt that she suffered form 'sex antagonism'". The author of the piece added: "it is possible that some unconscious feeling let us say of the novelty of a woman's intrusion into the domain of exploration so long reserved to man, may in some quarters have existed...there tended to arise...an atmosphere shall we say of aloofness?"[71] However, in her study of Victorian mountaineering, Ann Colley suggests that gender discrimination was more overt at lower elevations and in regular life than at higher elevations, such as in the Himalaya. Colley states, "Away from such petty opinion emanating from society pressures, up high, above the snow line or in distant regions, women climbers could more fully experience equality and power...If they chose, they could be just as sportsmanlike or competitive as the men."[72] In her entry about Workman in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Tingley sums Workman up as "an aggressive, determined, and uncompromising turn-of-the-century American woman traveler" and "one of the first women to work as a professional mountaineer and surveyor and to write about the expeditions she and her husband took to the most remote reaches of the Himalaya. She was an outspoken advocate of woman's suffrage and made it clear that she considered herself to be a role model for other women travelers and mountaineers."[7]

As a result of the money Workman left in her will, Wellesley College offers a US$16,000 fellowship named after Fanny Workman for graduate study in any discipline to a Wellesley graduate each year.[73] Bryn Mawr established a Fanny Bullock Workman Traveling Fellowship, which is awarded to PhD candidates in Archaeology or Art History when funds permit.[74]

Exploration of the Himalaya[edit]

The many books and articles produced by the Workmans are "still useful" according to Mason, especially for their photographs and illustrations, but their maps are "deceptive and not always reliable".[75] One assessment describes the Workmans as "keen observers of meteorological conditions, glaciology, and the effects of high altitudes on human health and fitness" but poor topographers.[2] Ultimately, the Workmans were some of the first mountaineers to grasp that the Himalaya were the place for the ultimate climbing challenge and their explorations "contributed significantly to the sport's evolution from strenuous recreation into serious, regulated competition".[76] According to Isserman and Weaver, "that the Workmans were intrepid explorers and climbers none could possibly doubt, but they were also aggressive self-promoters who in their eagerness for recognition and honors sometimes exaggerated the originality and significance of what they had done."[40] In their final assessment, Isserman and Weaver say "they had logged more miles and climbed more peaks than anyone to date; they had produced five sumptuously illustrated and widely read expedition volumes; and by simple virtue of her sex Fanny of course had set an invaluable Himalayan precedent. But the Workmans were not great mountaineers. At their best they were vigorous and competent patrons who followed capably in the hard-won steps of their Italian guides."[65] However, in his chapter on Workman, Pauly writes that "the few recent accounts of Fanny Workman have tended to slight or belittle her achievements, but contemporaries, unaware of the far greater accomplishments to come, held the Workmans in high regard."[77] They were the first Americans to really explore the Himalaya and break the British monopoly over Himalayan mountaineering.[65]

Works[edit]

  • Algerian Memories: A Bicycle Tour over the Atlas to the Sahara. London: Fisher Unwin, 1895.
  • Sketches Awheel in Modern Iberia. New York and London: Putnam's Sons, 1897.
  • In the Ice World of Himálaya, Among the Peaks and Passes of Ladakh, Nubra, Suru, and Baltistan. London: Fisher Unwin, 1900.
  • "Among the Great Himalayan Glaciers." National Geographic 13 (Nov. 1920): 405–406.
  • "First Ascents of the Hoh Lumba and the Sosbon Glaciers in the Northwest Himalayas." Independent 55 (Dec. 31, 1903): 3108–12.
  • Through Town and Jungle: Fourteen Thousand Miles A-Wheel Among the Temples and People of the Indian Plain. London: Unwin, 1904.
  • Ice-Bound Heights of the Mustagh: An Account of Two seasons of Pioneer Exploration and High Climbing in the Baltistan Himalaya. London: Constable, 1908.
  • The Call of the Snowy Hispar: A Narrative of Exploration and Mountaineering on the Northern Frontier of India. London: Constable and Co., 1911.
  • Peaks and Glaciers of Nun Kun: A Record of Pioneer-Exploration and Mountaineering in the Punjab Himalaya. London: Constable and Co., 1909.
  • "Miss Peck and Mrs. Workman." Scientific American 102 (Feb. 12 and Apr. 16, 1910); 143, 319.
  • "Recent First Ascents in the Himalaya." Independent 68 (June 2, 1910): 1202–10.
  • The Call of the Snowy Hispar: A Narrative of Exploration and Mountaineering on the Northern Frontier of India. London: Constable, 1910.
  • "Conquering the Great Rose." Harper 129 (June 1914): 44–45.
  • "Exploring the Rose." Independent 85 (Jan. 10, 1916): 54–56.
  • "Four Miles High." Independent 86 (June 5, 1916): 377–378.
  • Two Summers in the Ice-Wilds of Eastern Karakoram: The Exploration of Nineteen Hundred Square Miles of Mountain and Glacier. New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1916.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pauly 2012, p. 33.
  2. ^ a b c Kraig 1999.
  3. ^ a b Miller 1976, p. 103.
  4. ^ a b c Isserman 2008, p. 51.
  5. ^ Plint 1992-1993, p. 231.
  6. ^ a b c d e Pauly 2012, p. 34.
  7. ^ a b Tingley 1998, p. 360.
  8. ^ Pauly 2012, p. 39.
  9. ^ Ernie-Steighner 2009, p. 4.
  10. ^ Ernie-Steighner 2009, p. 6.
  11. ^ a b c d e Pauly, Thomas H. (March–April 2012). "Vita: Fanny Bullock Workman". Harvard Magazine. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Miller 1976, pp. 101, 105.
  13. ^ Miller 1976, p. 104.
  14. ^ Pauly 2012, pp. 34–35 ,66.
  15. ^ a b Pauly 2012, p. 36.
  16. ^ a b Tingley 1998, p. 361.
  17. ^ a b Tingley 1998, p. 363.
  18. ^ a b c Pauly 2012, p. 49.
  19. ^ Miler 1976, p. 106.
  20. ^ a b c Isserman 2008, p. 52.
  21. ^ a b c d Tingley 1998, p. 362.
  22. ^ Plint 1992–1993, p. 232.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Russell, CA. "One Hundred Years Ago - Alpine Journal". 
  24. ^ a b Pauly 2012, p. 37.
  25. ^ a b Tinling 1989, p. 308.
  26. ^ a b c d Pauly 2012, p. 38.
  27. ^ a b Miller 1976, p. 110.
  28. ^ a b c Miller 1976, p. 113.
  29. ^ a b Tinling 1989, p. 309.
  30. ^ a b c Pauly 2012, p. 40.
  31. ^ a b c Mason 1955, p. 131.
  32. ^ Middleton 1965, p. 84.
  33. ^ Miller 1976, pp. 114–115.
  34. ^ a b c Tinling 1989, p. 305.
  35. ^ a b Miller 1976, p. 122.
  36. ^ Pauly 2012, p. 41.
  37. ^ Pauly 2012, p. 42.
  38. ^ a b c Pauly 2012, p. 43.
  39. ^ Jordan 2009, p. 5.
  40. ^ a b c d Isserman 2008, p. 53.
  41. ^ Pauly 2012, p. 44.
  42. ^ Pauly 2012, pp. 45–46.
  43. ^ Pauly 2012, p. 46.
  44. ^ Pauly 2012, p. 47.
  45. ^ Plint 1992-1993, p. 234.
  46. ^ Middleton 1965, p. 81.
  47. ^ Pauly 2012, p. 48.
  48. ^ Isserman 2008, p. 55.
  49. ^ Isserman 2008, pp. 55–56.
  50. ^ Miller 1976, pp. 122–123.
  51. ^ Mason 1955, p. 111.
  52. ^ a b Isserman 2008, p. 56.
  53. ^ Pauly 2012, pp. 64–65.
  54. ^ a b Miller 1976, p. 123.
  55. ^ Plint 1992-1993, p. 235.
  56. ^ Miller 1976, p. 124.
  57. ^ Plint 1992-1993, p. 236.
  58. ^ Miller 1976, p. 125.
  59. ^ Miller 1976, p. 126.
  60. ^ a b Tingley 1998, p. 364.
  61. ^ Isserman 2008, pp. 56–57.
  62. ^ Mason 1955, p. 139.
  63. ^ Middleton 1965, p. 88.
  64. ^ a b Middleton 1965, p. 89.
  65. ^ a b c Isserman 2008, p. 57.
  66. ^ Tinling 1989, p. 310.
  67. ^ a b Miller 1976, p. 128.
  68. ^ Ellis 2001, p. 96.
  69. ^ Pauly 2012, pp. 66–67.
  70. ^ Miller 1976, p. 120.
  71. ^ Colley 2010, p. 116.
  72. ^ Colley 2010, p. 136.
  73. ^ "Wellesley College Graduate Fellowships and Scholarships". Wellesley College. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  74. ^ "Financial support". Bryn Mawr College. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  75. ^ Mason 1955, p. 132.
  76. ^ Pauly 2012, p. 67.
  77. ^ Pauly 2012, p. 197, note 2.

Cited sources[edit]

  • Colley, Ann C. (2010). Victorians in the Mountains: Sinking the Sublime. Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN 9781409406341. 
  • Ellis, Reuben (2001). Vertical Margins: Mountaineering and the Landscapes of Neoimperialism. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0299170004. 
  • Ernie-Steighner, Jenny (2009). "Delightful Escapes: U.S. Female Mountaineers Travel Abroad, 1890-1915". Thinking Gender Papers (Los Angeles: UCLA Center for the Study of Women). Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  • Isserman, Maurice; Weaver, Stewart (2008). Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11501-7. 
  • Jordan, Jennifer (2009). Savage Summit: The Life and Death of the First Women Of K2. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780061753527. 
  • Kraig, Beth (1999). "Fanny Bullock Workman". In Garraty, John A.; Carnes, Mark C. American National Biography 23. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 877–879. ISBN 0195128028. 
  • Mason, Kenneth (1955). Abode of Snow: A History of Himalayan Exploration and Mountaineering. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc. 
  • Middleton, Dorothy (1965). Victorian Lady Travellers. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc. 
  • Miller, Luree (1976). On Top of the World: Five Women Explorers in Tibet. Frome: Padding Press Ltd. ISBN 0-8467-0138-3. 
  • Pauly, Thomas H. (2012). Game Faces: Five Early American Champions and the Sports They Changed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 9780803238176. 
  • Plint, Michael (1992-1993). "The Workmans: Travellers Extraordinary". Alpine Journal 97: 231–237. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  • Tingley, Stephanie A. (1998). "Fanny Bullock Workman". In Ross, Donald; Schramer, James J. Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Travel Writers, 1850-1915 189. Detroit: Gale. pp. 360–365. ISBN 0787618446. 
  • Tinling, Marion (1989). Women into the Unknown: A Sourcebook on Women Explorers and Travelers. New York: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313253285.