Lizzie Le Blond Album #5 : "High Life and Towers of Silence"  [418]

Lizzie Le Blond Album #5 : "High Life and Towers of Silence"

Each album was assigned a title of one of Lizzie’s books or articles that best fits its subject matter…& this one was the easiest & most perfect to match. The album opens with traveling about Italy taking in horse & buggy lectures & photographing grand ruins. Then halfway through, Lizzie writes an intro that begins “The following photographs may serve to illustrate a tour with bicycles made during the Spring of 1896… The photos & captions detail an utterly amazing bicycling tour that Lizzie convinced friends to undertake. It's a fantastic account of riding from Switzerland over the Alps to Italy, circumnavigating the coastline before going back over the Alps to France, boarding a ferry and then riding to Lizzie’s home in Brighton, England. It looked to be a rollicking adventure, & perhaps one of the earliest bicycling tours of its kind in history. If you read Lizzie’s autobiography, however, she makes only a passing reference to a little, presumably solo, bicycling excursion & then shuffles right onto another topic. It was at this point that Safari Museum staff began to realize that what Lizzie, a woman of the aristocracy by both blood & marriage, could publicly discuss & what adventures she really had in life were very different. Without these albums, a place where Lizzie could be free to record her true life, so many of her major accomplishments would have been lost to suffocation by Victorian standards of a woman’s accepted place & her very defined roles in society. In publications that bore her name & would reflect on her lineage, Lizzie had to be a Tower of Silence; in these albums she found an outlet for the creativity that came from being an exceptional gender pioneer in so many fields & facets of life.