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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Pfeiffer, Madame Ida

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a German lady, whose maiden name was Reige, is noted as a traveller in the East, and as a valuable contributor to Palestinian topography. She was born in Vienna, October 15, 1797. From her very childhood she longed to see the world, and ever read with delight books of travel. In her girlhood she travelled to some extent with her parents, and subsequently with her husband. After the death of her husband and the maturity of her sons she determined to undertake a journey to Palestine, that she might have the ineffable delight of treading those spots which our Saviour had hallowed by his presence. With the accumulated wealth of twenty years, she left Vienna in March 1842. Her joulrney included Constantinople, Broussa, Beirut, Jaffa, Jerusalem, the river Jordan and the Dead Sea, Nazareth, Damascus, Balbec, the Libanus, Alexandria, Cairo, and the Desert to the Red Sea; then back by Malta, Sicily, Naples, Rome, etc., to Vienna, where she arrived in December of the same year. Upon her return she published anonymously the diary she had kept during her trip, under the title of Reise einer Wienerin in das Heilige Land (Journey of a Vienna Woman in the Holy Land). In 1845 Madame Pfeiffer visited Sweden, Norway, and Iceland. In 1846 she made her first journey round the world. In 1851 she made a second expedition, visiting the United States, and upon her return published an account of all her travels. But of all her descriptions those of the Holy Land are far more interesting than any of the others; owing doubtless to haying been less hurried then than while making her trips round the world. Throughout the whole of her arduous journeys Madame Pfeiffer displayed great courage, perseverance, and womanly tact. The mere fact of her having accomplished what no male traveller ever has done is conclusive evidence that she was possessed of great endurance and fortitude. She died October 27, 1858.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Pfeiffer, Madame Ida'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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