With her husband, Fanny Bullock Workman traveled the world. Known first for bicycling, she later took up mountain climbing. Their mapmaking and detailed scientific observations in the Himalayas and especially the Karakorum range remain important as resources.
Historians suggest that the Workmans exaggerated their claims for discoveries and for "firsts" for women; nevertheless, Fanny Workman was a pioneer geographer and adventurer.
The Workmans were a true partnership, sharing responsibilities, and often trading jobs in alternating years: general organizing, photography, scientific observations. Their daughter, Rachel, became a geologist. In later years she turned to lecturing; Fanny may have been the first woman to lecture at the Sorbonne.
Fanny Bullock Workman was a proponent of woman suffrage and women's rights, and felt she had met "sex antagonism" from male scientists and climbers. She supported higher education for women, and left a large bequest to Bryn Mawr, Radcliffe, Smith and Wellesley.
- Women Travel Writers Bibliography
- Victorian Lady Travelers: Dorothy Middleton. Trade Paperback, 1985. Includes Fanny Bullock Workman among its subjects.
More women's history biographies, by name: