Ida Laura Pfeiffer (October 14, 1797 - October 27, 1858), was an Austrian traveller.
The daughter of a merchant named Reyer, she was born at Vienna. In 1820 she married Dr. Pfeiffer, a lawyer of Lemberg, who subsequently incurred official persecution and was reduced to poverty. In her later life Mme Pfeiffer devoted her limited means to travel. In 1842 she visited Palestine and Egypt, and published an account of her journey in Reise einer Wienerin in das Heilige Land (Vienna, 1843). In 1845 she set out to Scandinavia and Iceland, describing her tour in two volumes, Reise nach dein skandinavischen Norden und der Insel Island (Pest, 1846).
In 1846 she started on a journey round the world, visiting Brazil, Chile and other countries of South America, Tahiti, China, India, Persia, Asia Minor and Greece, and reaching home in 1848. The results were published in Eine Frau fährt um die Welt (Vienna, 1850). In 1851 she went to England and thence to South Africa, intending to penetrate into the interior; this proved impracticable, but she proceeded to the Malay archipelago, spending eighteen months in the Sunda Islands and the Malukus. After a visit to Australia, Madame Pfeiffer proceeded to California, Oregon, Peru, Ecuador, New Granada, and north again to the Great Lakes, reaching home in 1854.
Her narrative, Meine zweite Weltreise, was published at Vienna in 1856. In May of the same year she set out to explore Madagascar, where at first she was cordially received by the queen. But she unwittingly allowed herself to be involved in a plot to overthrow the government, and was expelled from the country. She died in Vienna.
The Reise nach Madagascar was issued in 1861 (Vienna), with a biography by her son.
This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.