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A Girl's Ride in Iceland

Mrs. Alec-Tweedie

125 pages
Library of Alexandria
When this little volume (my maiden effort) was published five years ago, it unwittingly originated an angry controversy by raising the question "Should women ride astride?" It is astonishing what a great fire a mere spark may kindle, and accordingly the war, on what proved to be a very vexed subject, waged fast and furious. The picture papers inserted cleverly-illustrated articles pro. and con.; the peace of families was temporarily wrecked, for people were of course divided in their opinions, and bitter things were said by both sides concerning a very simple and harmless matter. For a time it seemed as though the "Ayes" would win; but eventually appearances carried the day, and women still use side saddles when on horseback, though the knickerbockers and short skirts (only far shorter) I advocated for rough country riding are now constantly worn by the many female equestrians who within the last couple of years have mounted bicycles. It is nearly four years since, from an hotel window in Copenhagen, I saw, to my great surprise, for the first time a woman astride a bicycle! How strange it seemed! Paris quickly followed suit, and now there is a perfect army of women bicyclists in that fair capital; after a decent show of hesitation England dropped her prejudices, and at the present minute, clad in unnecessarily masculine costume, almost without a murmur, allows her daughters to scour the country in quest of fresh air astride a bicycle. If women may ride an iron steed thus attired, surely they might be permitted to bestride a horse in like manner clothed, and in like fashion