Fanny Bullock Workman was born to a wealthy and well-connected family in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father Alexander Bullock served three terms as governor of the state. She was educated by governesses at finishing school in New York City before studying in Paris and Dresden. She began writing and publishing stories as a young woman. In 1882, she married William Hunter Workman, 12 years her senior, a physician by training, with whom she had two children. He introduced Fanny to mountain climbing. After both her father and father-in-law died, leaving the couple large inheritances, they took their first major European trip together, and settled in Germany. She went on to achieve fame for writing books about the epic cycling journeys they undertook through India, Algeria, Italy, Spain, and other places. However, she's best remembered today as a pioneering female mountaineer. During some expeditions in the Himalayas, she set altitude records, including the ascension of Pinnacle Peak in 1906 at age 47. She was also a feminist and outspoken supporter of the women's suffrage movement. After 1912, she stopped exploring and devoted her time to writing and lecturing. She became the first American woman to lecture at the Sorbonne in Paris, and was one of the first women admitted to the Royal Geographical Society.