A Sprited Victorian – Jemima Morrell

Posted Dec 29 2014, 9:11 pm

Jemima Morrell scaled the Swiss Alps


Say hello to Jemima Morrell, a plucky woman from Yorkshire who had a spirit for true adventure. So much so that in 1863, at 31 years of age, she, along with three other lady friends, joined excursionist Thomas Cook on his FIRST guided tour of the Swiss Alps.

Jemima hiking


Fully corseted and swathed from head to toe in heavy garments, dark crinoline, lace-up boots and donning a parasol, she looked more ready for a walk in the park than a traipse across the rugged Swiss Alps; in this instance the Mer de Glace in Chamonix, France. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “Jemima was one of 130 intrepid travelers to undertake the trip in 1863.

Alpine Club


She belonged to the Junior United Alpine Club, a determined gang, to be sure, as five fellow members joined her on the Alpine adventure, including her younger brother, William. Their itinerary was grueling – awake at 4am every morning, went to bed late, and endured all weathers; all the while dressed in Victorian attire. Some days the women walked 17 miles.”


Jemima 5


We know how tough the adventure was ’cause Jemima kept a diary, discovered by family members one hundred years later in 1963; the amazing account was published under the title: “Miss Jemima’s Swiss Journal: The First Conducted Tour of Switzerland”. Jemima 4




 So much for thinking those wily Victorians were…dare I say it? Fragile. ☺ 









1 Comment


One response to “A Sprited Victorian – Jemima Morrell”

  1. Sharon Moore says:

    I just love this, Cindy! Thanks for introducing me to Jemima. She might become one of the Intrepid Women I am writing for middle grade readers. But, it’s hard to get info about her. Her journal is in German (the copies I can find) so I am stymied right now. But I will persist!

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