Ida Laura pfeiffer Explorer and conqueror

Ida Laura pfeiffer

Born: 14 October 1797

Died: 27 October 1858

Nationality: Vienna, Austria

She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant named Reyer. Growing up with 5 brothers she was used to wearing boys' clothing and liked sports and exercise, which was encouraged by her father. At the age of seventeen she fell in love with her tutor, he loved her back but her mother did not approve. On May, 1820 she married Dr Mark Antón pfeiffer, a lawyer connected with the Austrian government, who was 24 years older than her. They lived an unhappy marriage. After her husband lost his job he struggled to find another which led their family into poverty. Ida gave drawing and music lessons to help with their financial situation and it improved after Idas mothers death and with the small inheritance she was able to pay for better teachers for her two sons. After her two sons moved on to live their own lives she decided to fulfill her own childhood dream, travelling.

"In exactly the same manner as the artist an invisible desire to paint, and the poet to give free course to his thoughts so was I hurried away with an unconquerable wish to see the world. My youth I dreamed of travelling in my old age I find amusement in reflecting of what I have beheld." -Ida Laura pfeiffer-
Map of the countries Ida visited
Blue: In 1842 she visited Palestine and Egypt with her family at the age of 5 which began her interest in travelling. Yellow: In 1845 she travelled to Scandinavia and Iceland. Red: In 1846 she started her "round the world" journey she visited Brazil, chile and other countries of South America, Tahiti, china, India, Persia, Asia-minor, and Greece, reaching home in 1848.
My Focus Questions... what motivated her to write about her travels ? After travelling the world once what made her go twice? What impact did she have on society?

What motivated her to write about her travels?

Annotation: Source 1

Instead, Frau Pfeiffer, having outlived her husband, and having sent her strapping young lads out into the world on their own, °decided to travel – and then write about it, for profit – to fund even more travels. You see why I describe her as one of the first travel-bloggers – *she travelled for the sheer joy of it, and yet found a way to make it pay … something I’m still struggling to do Ida Pfeiffer has been called the first woman to make travelling her life’s work. She became a celebrity, famous to the new mass audiences that the media of the industrial revolution, and especially mass printing had made possible.

°This suggests that her motivation to write books was for the money, so she could fund more of her travels to come.

*She enjoyed travelling it gave her sheer joy and after publishing her travel diaries she was able to enjoy more of her time travelling.

Annotaion: Source 2

Once at home she sat down and in a creative frenzy she compiled all of the notes she’d scribbled in fourteen note books. This became a two volume work that was published in 1843 – and it became a best-seller. *She had discovered the formula that she would use from now on. Writing of her travels sold well and she could use the proceeds from her books to fund further travel. page16Her books were praised for their simple matter-of-fact- reporting, especially on things that famous male authors had neglected – such as the life of woman and families in other countries…the domestic realm of these far-away places. She had a keen eye for detail. The books could essentially be read as tour guides for trips, real or vicarious, to these exotic destinations. In fact, the book I mentioned before (The Story of Ida Pfeiffer) contains extracts from her writing, translated into English – and it is available for free at the Project Gutenberg website, so you might like to check some of her writings for yourself.

* after publishing her first book she discovered a formula that she would use for many travels she went on. She earn't enough money every time she published a book to pay for her travel expenses.

Annotation: Source 3

Soon after she got back, *she recouped most of her costs by publishing her travel diary, although she had to be coerced into it — it was “repugnant to her modesty.” Still, the anonymously-credited journal was a smash hit, owing in no small part to her blunt honesty (more on that later), and it was reprinted four times. It financed a 6 month trip to Scandinavia (for which she learned English and Danish), and planted the seeds of her first round the world trip.

*her motivations to write about her travels was so she could go travelling to more extrodanary places, by making money off the books she sold.

After travelling the world once what made her go twice ?

Annotation: Source 1

In 1851 she went to England and to South Africa, *intending to penetrate into the interior; this proved impracticable, but she proceeded to the Malay archipelago, spending eighteen months in the Sunda Islands, where she visited the Dyaks of Borneo and was one of the first persons to report on the behavior of the Bataks in Sumatra, and the Malukus. After a visit to Australia, Madame Pfeiffer proceeded to California, Oregon, Peru, Ecuador, New Granada, and north again to the Great Lakes, reaching home in 1854.

*This piece of information suggests that one of the reasons she wanted to go twice was because even when she had gone once, she didn't look fully into her environment. So this time, she wanted to go and really concentrate and explore every bit of the land.

Annotation: source 2

Her first long journey was a trip to Palestine and Egypt when *she was but five years old. The influence of this experience remained with her, and upon the death of her husband in 1842 she determined to travel. In that year she made a tour which included the Holy Land, Constantinople, Cairo, Arabia and the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and Rome, and later she again visited the Holy Land. In 1845 she visited Scandinavia and Iceland, and in 1846-48 made a tour of the world traveling in Brazil, Chile, China, India, Persia, Armenia, Caucasus and Turkey, and in 1851-55 made a tour which included England, South Africa, the Malay Archipelago, Australia and North and South America.

*When she had gone traveling at the age of 5, the impression stuck with her and so influenced her to travel not once but twice. She was really intrigued by where she had travelled and so she had to go again.

AnNotation: source 3

But these comparatively short excursions were but preliminary to the great enterprise of her life, the prologue, as it were, to the five-act drama, with all its *surprises, hazards, amazing situations, and striking scenes. The experience she had acquired as a traveller she resolved to utilize in the accomplishment of a tour round the world, and on this notable adventure she set out in June, 1846, being then in her fiftieth year, on board the Caroline, a Danish brig, bound for Rio Janeiro.

*After her first short exploration, she experienced things that felt was wonderful to her and so she was motivated to feel that again. That is why she went on the second time.

What impact did she have on society ?

Annotation: Source 1

In the end, she had traveled over 150,000 miles of sea and 20,000 of land, in an era before airplanes or comfortable trains. She brought a *huge amount of geographic, botanic, and ethnographic knowledge to Europe — and although she was not a trained scientist, her *contributions merited a gold medal from the King of Prussia and an honorary membership in the Geographical Society of Berlin. Austria, for its part, seemingly didn’t care much about anything she did (it’s okay, she was well prepared for disappointment).

*she bought a lot of knowledge to Europe which was praised by them and affected europes society in a very positive way.

*her contributions to Berlin with geography not only impacted their country but her by being merited a gold medal from the king of perssisa.

Annotation: Source 2

*After announcing that she was ready to travel again in 1851, she received many invitations from Europeans stationed all over the world, as well as offers of free transportation from railroad and steamship companies. After sailing from London to Cape Town, she continued to Singapore and Borneo. Ida Pfeiffer spent six months in Borneo traveling through the almost impenetrable rain forest. Ignoring her advisers, she visited the Dyak tribe known for practicing ritual headhunting. Surprisingly, Ida liked and admired the Dyaks. She wrote, "I shuddered, but I could not help asking myself whether, after all, we Europeans are not really just as bad or worse than these despised savages? Is not every page of our history filled with horrid deeds of treachery and murder?" She then said, "I should like to have passed a longer time among the free Dyaks, as I found them, without exception, honest, good-natured, and modest in their behavior. I should be inclined to place them, in these respects, above any of the races I have ever known."

* she shaped the society to realise a woman can explore the world. The society acknowledged Ida and offered free transportation, which would have been appreciated with the lack of money she had to spend.

Annotaion: source 3

During her travels Ida Pfeiffer collected plants, insects, mollusks, marine life and mineral specimens. *The carefully documented specimens were sold to the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna and Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. Madame Pfeiffer is referenced as Madam Pfeiffer in Thoreau's book, Walden. Thoreau talks of how she wore more civilized clothes as she got closer to her homeland.

*She had a great impact on society, collecting many specimens and documented lots of information which was sold to mueseums in Berlin and her home town Vienna.

Photos used in background of information

Evaluating information

Which focus question did you think was the easiest to find the infOrmation on and explain why

I think the question I found easiest to find information on was "what motivated her to write about her travels ?" There were more websites with information on this inquiry question than out of any of the three I had. It was very hard to find three different sources for the other two questions because there weren't many websites on Ida Laura pfeiffer. Every time I searched with key words it came up with the same websites I had visited already.

Which was the best site for this focus question and why

The best site for my focus question was...

Because I got most of my information from this website for all three questions and gave me a lot of information on Ida pfeiffer herself. There also weren't a great variety of websites to look at because not many people know about Ida and publish a website on her.

Was there a site that was the most helpful for the assesment? Explain why?

There was a main site I always went to, to find information for all my inquiry questions.

It basically had all the information I was looking for, all on this one website which saved me a lot of going back and forth with websites and getting frustrated because I forgot which one had which information.

Evaluating the inquiry process

How difficult was it to collect the appropriate information for the focus question ?

It was difficult to even find the information I was looking for because Ida is not as well known as some other explorers so there went many websites that had the information I was looking for. In class I got a bit frustrated without been able to find three sources of information for each inquiry question. After thinking it through I thought of different ways to search and browsed through many of the websites google came up with.

What type of search phrases did you use for each focus question ?

I tried to use only key words to narrow down my search.

Question 1: what motivated her to write about her travels?

Search: Motivations Ida Laura pfeiffer write about travels

Search: Motivations to write diary and publish

Question 2: after travelling the world once what made her go twice

Search: after travelling once decision to go twice

Search: travelling around world once, made Ida go twice

Question 3: what impact did she have on society ?

Search: impact on society

Search: impact and influence on society

Desribe one positive aspect of the annotation process

A positive aspect of annotation is you learn how to look through lots of writing and find exactly what you are looking for. By usuing annotation it helps you gain knowledge of the person or thing you are reasearching before going onto more serious questions and information.

Describe one weekness when you were working through the annotation process

Trying to look through so many websites to find the information that related to my inquiry questions was one of my weeknesses. I have never really done annotations and so it was a really hard to think we were able to copy and paste things onto our work. There wasn't a very big selection on websites, the fact that she's not as well known as other famous explorers and conquerors made it even harder to find the information.

One way you can improve your skills on the part of the process

I could improve on researching with only the main points/words. Which I found a bit difficult because it felt really weird, it didn't make sense and it's not what I usually do when searching.

All photos used in the background of information were from google images. All resources and information were found on google search. Made on spark page.

By Aimee Hendren

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