This book is a compilation of letters Ms. Bird sent back to her sister in England, from her trip to Hawaii in the 1870's. Wow! I'm amazed at her knowledge of the flora and fauna of a land she'd never been to before. And she writes detailed descriptions of the natives and their lifestyles, of the political climate, of the occupation of foreigners (mainly Americans) for the production of sugar. Although I enjoyed the book about the next leg of her round the world journey (A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains) much more, this was still an eye opening and fascinating account of early Hawaii.
Orignally published in the 1870's, the author was one of the first cultural tourists to Hawaii. This Victorian travel book combines an anthropological interest in Hawaii's peole and a spirit of adventure that led her across the islands by horse, foot and steamship, travels that were actually dangereous in those days. If you like Hawaii, this is a wonderful extension of your love affair with the land and people.
Really good 19th century style writing (we just don't write like they used to!). contrary to the information above, there is no photography in the book, only drawings.