A new edition of Lucy Atkinson’s book, Recollections of Tartar Steppes and their Inhabitants, first published in 1863, will be published by Signal Books of Oxford in September. With a new introduction written by myself and Marianne Simpson, the book will bring Lucy’s wonderful writings to a new generation of readers. Written in the form of a series of letters to an unnamed friend, Lucy’s open style makes this a fresh and very accessible account of the six years she spent travelling on horseback throughout Siberia and Central Asia.
In the introduction we put the book into context in terms of women’s travel writing and argue that it is one of the earliest and best examples of the genre. The extensive research by Marianne Simpson into Lucy’s family and its maritime connections perhaps also helps to explain her willingness to travel in remote and dangerous areas. The book also provides extensive biographical details of Lucy, particularly for the period after she returned from Russia. More details to follow closer to publication.