Our Search for a Wilderness, An Account of Two Ornithological Expeditions to Venezuela and British Guiana

William BEEBE (1877 - 1962) and Blair NILES (1880 - 1959)

In 1908-1909, Mary Blair Beebe and her husband, C. William Beebe made two private expeditions to Venezuela and British Guiana, exploring and collecting live birds for the New York Zoological Park. They then collaborated on a book about their "search for a wilderness," with Mary Blair doing the bulk of the writing. The Beebe's supplemented tropical birding with visits to gold mines in British Guiana and a lake of pitch, which was being mined in the middle of the Venezuelan jungle. Mary Blair's take on things is evident. "A word must be said here from the woman's point of view about the costume which was adopted as being absolutely suited to the bush life. In the first place it was light... and thus freed from the drag of heavy clothing one would come in unfatigued from tramps which would have been impossible for a woman in orthodox dress, no matter how short the skirt. In light khaki knickerbockers, loose negligee shirts of scotch flannel or fibrous cellular cloth, stockings and tennis shoes and a waterproof felt hat, one was ready for anything. One realized as never before with what handicaps woman has tried to follow the footsteps of man; with the result that physical exhaustion has robbed her of all the joys of life in the open." After her divorce from C. William in 1913, Mary Blair wrote several more travel books in the 1920's and 1930's under the pen name Blair Niles. - Summary by Sue Anderson

Genre(s): Animals, Nature, Memoirs

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Preface Sue Anderson
00:05:25
Play 01 The Land of a Single Tree, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:18:07
Play 02 The Land of a Single Tree, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:29:51
Play 03 The Lake of Pitch, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:32:00
Play 04 The Lake of Pitch, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:29:01
Play 05 A Woman's Experiences in Venezuela, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:30:05
Play 06 A Woman's Experiences in Venezuela, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:38:51
Play 07 Georgetown, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:18:56
Play 08 Georgetown, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:19:56
Play 09 Steamer and Launch to Hoorie Creek, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:36:26
Play 10 Steamer and Launch to Hoorie Creek, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:26:49
Play 11 A Gold Mine in the Wilderness, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:30:07
Play 12 A Gold Mine in the Wilderness, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:29:08
Play 13 A Gold Mine in the Wilderness, Pt. 3 Sue Anderson
00:36:56
Play 14 Through the Coastal Wilderness, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:27:03
Play 15 Through the Coastal Wilderness, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:23:47
Play 16 The Water Trail from Georgetown to Aremu, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:26:42
Play 17 The Water Trail from Georgetown to Aremu, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:26:59
Play 18 Jungle Life at Aremu, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:27:57
Play 19 Jungle Life at Aremu, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:33:55
Play 20 Aremu Jungle Diary, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:30:33
Play 21 Aremu Jungle Diary, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:35:23
Play 22 The Life of the Abary Savannas, Pt. 1 Sue Anderson
00:38:07
Play 23 The Life of the Abary Savannas, Pt. 2 Sue Anderson
00:20:03