"Mountains of the Mind" pursues an investigation into our emotional and imaginative responses to mountains, and how these have changed over the last few centuries. It is rich with literary and historical references, and punctuated by descriptions of the author's own climbing experiences. There are chapters on glaciers, geology, the pursuit of fear, the desire to explore the unknown and the desire to get to the summit, and the book ends with a gripping account of Mallory's attempt on Everest.
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Combining accounts of legendary mountain ascents with vivid descriptions of his own forays into wild, high landscapes, Robert McFarlane reveals how the mystery of the world's highest places has came to grip the Western imagination--and perennially draws legions of adventurers up the most perilous slopes.
His story begins three centuries ago, when mountains were feared as the forbidding abodes of dragons and other mysterious beasts. In the mid-1700s the attentions of both science and poetry sparked a passion for mountains; Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Lord Byron extolled the sublime experiences to be had on high; and by 1924 the death on Mt Everest of an Englishman named George Mallory came to symbolize the heroic ideals of his day. Macfarlane also reflects on fear, risk, and the shattering beauty of ice and snow, the competition and contemplation of the climb, and the strange alternate reality of high altitude, magically enveloping us in the allure of mountains at every level.
Robert Macfarlane is an academic at Cambridge University, with a passion for mountaineering. He reviews regularly for The Observer, the TLS and the New Statesman.
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Book Description Granta, 2004 9781862076549, 2004. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. NEW paperback. 306 pages. B/w illustrations. Widely admired - Sir Ranulph Fiennes calls it "a truly inspiring read" - and the winner of the Guardian First Book Award. It is best described, perhaps, as an account of his own and other people's fascination with climbing, and personal memoir weaves skilfully through stories of famous ascents and philosphical musings on the attractions of these beautiful and damgerous wildest of places. Bookseller Inventory # 607
Book Description Granta Books, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111862076545