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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cormorant Strike Series and the Society of Women Geographers

I've enjoyed Robert Galbriath's (J.K. Rowling's pseudonym) Cormorant Strike series and have been waiting for the fourth book to appear.  Then I saw this article in The Guardian!  
"Strike, as the TV series is called, has been made by Brontë Film and TV, a production company set up by Rowling. Brontë turned The Casual Vacancy into a 2015 BBC mini-series that was efficient enough, but Strike is a superior effort."

Sounds good to me!  

Have you read any of the Cormorant Strike books?  What did you think?  
On a totally different subject, I love reading about adventurous women, especially those who challenged the norm that women were unsuited for exploration.  When excluded from the all-male Explorers Club, four women (Marguerite Harrison, Blair Niles, Gertrude Shelby, and Gertrude Emerson) formed the Society of Women Geographers in 1925.  

Roy Chapman Andrews, president of the Explorers Club, was invited to the Society of Women Geographer's first dinner in 1932.  Chapman had recently addressed the women of Barnard College:
 “Women are not adapted to exploration,” he told the students."
In response to the SWG's invitation, he sent a letter: 
" He had compliments for the women of the Society—“I have in mind many cases where women have done splendid work in the field and I have great admiration for the accomplishments”—but he made it clear why women explorers needed the support of the Society of Woman Geographers. “I think, however, that you will agree with me that one or two women would not fit to the advantage in a large [expedition] of men.”  (source)

Ha!  The women of the SWG wanted to take him to task for his remarks that "Women are not adapted to exploration," but the intrepid male explorer chose not to attend the dinner.  He may have admired the accomplishments of some of the women, but didn't believe women would be an asset to male expeditions (or suitable for membership to his Explorers Club?).  

But even before the early 20th c., there were women who defied society's expectations.  Jean Baret, dressed as a man, joined de Bougainville's  1766-1769 expedition and became the first woman to have circumnavigated the world.  Gertrude Bell, Isabelle Bird, Nelly Bly, Fanny Bullock Workman, Hester Stanhope, Annie Londonderry, and many other women from around the world dared adventures that would be daunting today--long before the formation of the WSG.  I'm sure those early courageous women would have loved to have had the support and camaraderie the SWG eventually provided women who preferred hardship, exploration, and adventure to housekeeping.

I think I need to add some biographies to my list! 


  1. I love the Cormorant Strike books and can't wait for the next one.

    1. I'm eager for the next in the series, too!

  2. I just saw a trailer for the upcoming Strike series and am excited to see it. I am not sure when I will, but I do want to.

    I was not familiar with the Society of Women Geographers, but I'm definitely interested now that you've brought them to my attention.

    1. It sounds as if it will be a good series, doesn't it? The characters are similar to the way I pictured them--always a plus. :)

      Some of those women explorers are truly amazing!