European 'acclimatization' represented a central geographical and medical question throughout the nineteenth century. Prolonged residences by Europeans in the tropics were thought to result in physical and moral deterioration, and women were thought to be particularly vulnerable. Among the first British women to venture into the tropics and sub-tropics, missionary women played an important role in the articulation of acclimatization debates. In this paper, we use unpublished application and medical correspondence to illustrate how perspectives offered by and about missionary wives and female missionaries applying to the London Missionary Society reflect and challenged popular constructions of the tropics as uniformly dangerous places.
|Number of pages
|Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
|Published - Sept 2005