With the advent of the "steam palace" in the nineteenth century, American women set out to see the world. Women from various walks of life prototypes of Daisy Miller, Isabel Archer, and Undine Spragg crossed the oceans in record numbers. As they traveled abroad to faraway destinations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, China, and India, many recorded their experiences and their impressions of foreign lands. Women speak for themselves in "Telling Travels," a selection of narratives from travel books by nineteenth-century American women. Included here are such famed authors as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Nellie Bly, as well as rediscovered travel writers. Whether musing on the vagaries of journeying abroad or commenting on the history, politics, and customs of other lands, the writers express their cultural predispositions and reflect the changing dynamics of gender politics."