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CONWAY, Sir William Martin.

The Alps from End to End.

With 100 Full-Page Illustrations by Arthur David McCormick.

London, Westminster, Archibald Constable and Co., 1895 Stock Code: 140240
£1,650.00

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Notes

First Edition, limited issue of 100 copies on thick paper; this the author's copy, copy No. 1 with manuscript limitation statement on the second blank and numbered in ink on the half-title. A handful of minor corrections or annotations to the text, together with a number of insertions; an original photograph of the Petites Dents de Veisivi; the catalogue of the selling exhibition of McCormick's original artwork for the book at St. George's Galleries, no other copy traced; an article from the Leipziger Zeitung concerning the ascent of the Großglockner, inscribed to "Sir Conway" by the author, Gottfried Lampadius; a charming four-page autograph letter signed dated in 1927 from James Westwood, a still-fondly remembered master and librarian at Ackworth Quaker School in Pontefract, recounting an encounter with a Dr. Wilhelm Hess, and his reminiscences of meeting Conway at the Wiener Hut, Hoch Feiler (p. 299), enclosing a snapshot of Dr. Hess and wife in the gardens of Sanssouci, and suggesting that Conway drop a note to him, "a chemist of international repute, but so... 'sympatisch'"; and a tipped in typed letter signed on behalf of Dr. Wilhelm von Bode director of the Königlichen Museen, now the Berlin State Museums, recalling time spent together in the Erzherzog-Johannhütte in 1894 (pp. 331-2).

"Conway, one of the great mountaineers and scholars of the later period of Alpine climbing and exploration describes his climbing throughout the Alps He was also a pioneer in mountain literature. Through his writings, particularly this work, he gives stimulus to the movement for 'new routes' by calling attention to what had not been climbed" (Cox). Undertaken immediately after his return from his large-scale expedition to the Karakoram this walk from end to end of the Alps in the company of two Gurkhas is described in ODNB, perhaps unnecessarily dismissively, as a "gruelling publicity stunt". A really grand piece of turn of the century book production, McCormick's evocative illustrations being particularly effectively printed on a fine wove paper, matchless association with additional material.

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Description

Octavo (245 x 163 mm). Original vellum-backed light sage green cloth, top edge gilt, others uncut, dark green silk page-marker.

Illustrations

Tinted photogravure frontispiece and 3 other similar plates, 96 halftones, all with original tissue-guards, title-page printed in red and black with engraved vignette.

Condition

A little rubbed and soiled, cloth mildly rolled at the spine edges, corners bumped, free endpapers browned, as also the edges for the block, and the plate, guard and text leaf at p. 231, these from the inclusion of a newspaper clipping, occasional scatter of foxing, but overall a very good copy.

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