Wall and Roof Climbing.Eton College, Spottiswoode and Co., Limited, 1905 Stock Code: 115630
NotesFirst edition, first impression, very scarce presentation copy inscribed "'from the Culprit' 1906", of this notable satirical anthology of buildering lore through the ages by Geoffrey Winthrop Young (1876-1958), author of The Roof-Climber's Guide to Trinity (1899), this his second book, and an early title in the lineage of Cambridge-related roof-climbing books that culminated in the cult classic Night Climbers of Cambridge (1937) by "Whipplesnaith". This copy, as well as being inscribed on the front free endpaper, has an autograph note signed by Young tipped in, jovially gifting this "literary joke" to Ernest Albert Baker (1860-1941), author, lexicographer and literary scholar whose standard reference ten volume History of the English Novel was published 1924-39. Wall and Roof Climbing, which was anonymously published while Young was a master at Eton, assembles quotations from authors (reaching through Shakespeare and Marlowe, past Chaucer and Malory, as far back as Ovid and Boethius) as tongue-in-cheek proof of the noble and ancient heritage of the buildering "faith". It also includes a bibliography and appendices on Interior Climbing (vide. Bacon), Haystack Climbing (vide. Burns), Tree Climbing (vide. the Talmud). The author Young went on to be a notable mountain climber, and was elected president of the Climbers Club in 1913. During the First World War, though a conscientious objector, he was decorated for his service in the Friends' Ambulance Unit - but was wounded by an explosion that caused the amputation of one of his legs. Irrepressible in spite of this misfortune, Young continued alpine climbing using a special artificial mountaineering leg, and climbed the Matterhorn in 1928. It is a very scarce book in the trade, with 14 copies listed institutionally worldwide but only one other copy recorded at auction, and this the only presentation copy traced.
Octavo. Original olive buckram, titles to front gilt, top edge gilt.
Bookplate of Ernest A. Baker to front pastedown. Cloth tanned, front joint starting at ends, ends and corners rubbed, first quire somewhat loose, nonetheless a good copy.
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