Edward Whymper ‘The First Ascent of the Matterhorn’ Les Alpes Livres, Alpinismo Cervin
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Edward Whymper SCRAMBLES AMONGST THE ALPS IN THE YEARS 1860-69.
John Murray. 1871 1st. Authors Limited edition. pp432. 21 full page engravings (printed
by the author). 90 text. 5 fold. maps. new f.e.p.'s orig. cloth bright. RARE and one
of 20 copies with plates and leaves picked by the author. a SIGNED presentation copy
to William Longman. - sold
Edward Whymper, engraver and mountaineer. With little or no climbing experience
made the first British ascent of the Pelvoux in 1861. During the next four years
he failed seven times to climb the Matterhorn, which few others had the nerve even
to attempt! Repelled from the Italian side he crossed to Zermatt and joined forces
with the young Lord Francis Douglas and his guide old Peter Taugwalder. Whymper’s
favourite guide, Michel Croz, was there but had been engaged by the Revd. Charles
Hudson and 19 year old Douglas Hadow who also had their eyes set on the Matterhorn.
Whilst Whymper, himself only 24 years old, reckoned that the party was too big, eight
including Tugwalder’s two sons taken as porters, by desire of their father. it succeeded
in reaching the summit after camping high up overnight. Croz and young Peter Taugwalder
had gone on to see what what above - We could have gone to the summit and returned
Perhaps if they had then the tragedy which followed may never have happened?
Descent of the Matterhorn
The substance of Chapter XXII appeared in a letter to The Times, August 8, 1865
I do not forget the somewhat spasmodic efforts in Alpine painting which have been
made in late years by one or two of our landscape-painters. But so far as I know,
despite one or two fairly successful beginnings, none of them have persevered in
the endeavour to represent mountains. Of all men, Mr. Edward Whymper has effected
most in this field. His wood engravings show how much may be done even on a very
small scale and without colour. A volume of portraits of the great peaks by his hand
Douglas W. Freshfield. Italian Alps. 1875
In his diary for 1858 an eighteen old Whymper wrote
April 11. Sunday. The Rev. M. Davies, the secretary of the (Religious) Tract Society,
preached both times. We had him home for dinner , and although I have the strongest
hatred and disgust of the Tract Society’s way of doing business, yet Mr Davies left
a very favourable impression on my mind’.
June 4. ‘In (the) evening I visited for the first time Mr Albert Smith’s entertainment
of Mont Blanc, etc., which closes this season finally’.
May 20. ‘Finished up sketches. I have been fortunate enough to please my father with
my sketches, and to-day Mr J. Gilbert looked at some of them and praised them, though
I think it is doubtful if he is sincere in what he says’.
(Josiah Gilbert - The Dolomite Mountains 1864 in which the engravings on wood are
by Mr. E. Whymper)
The first edition of Swiss Pictures Drawn with Pen and Pencil was published in 1866
and remained in print until 1891.
Samuel Manning (1822-1881), Baptist Minister of Sheppard's Barton, Somerset from
1846-61 became editor of the 'Baptist Magazine’ and also general book editor of the
Religious Tract Society. Samuel G. Green was the editor of the final edition in 1891.