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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Ida Pfieffer

b. 1797, Vienna; d. 1858, Vienna

The correct spelling of this name is IDA PFEIFFER.

Ida Pfeiffer waited through twenty-two years of marriage to satisfy her wanderlust. She married her tutor in 1820; once their children were grown, she promptly left her husband, in 1842, and set out on a series of travels that become the basis of numerous books. The first stop was Egypt, described in Visit to the Holy Land, Egypt and Italy (1843), followed by Journey to Iceland, and Travels in Sweden and Norway (1846); A Lady’s Voyage Round the World, a recounting of her adventures in South America, China, India, Iraq, Russia, Turkey, and Greece; and A Lady’s Second Journey Around the World (1856), which took her through South Africa, Singapore, Borneo, Indonesia, and Calfornia. Despite her election to geographical societies in Berlin and Paris, the Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain refused her entrée. On her final trip, to Madagascar (1856), she became involved in a plot to overthrow the government and was banned from the country.