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Mountaineering and British Romanticism : the literary cultures of climbing, 1770-1836

Mountaineering and British Romanticism : the literary cultures of climbing, 1770-1836 / Simon Bainbridge.
9780191890468 (ebook)
First edition.
Oxford ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2020.
Physical Description
xii, 300 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
"This book examines the relationship between Romantic-period writing and the activity that Samuel Taylor Coleridge christened ‘mountaineering’ in 1802. It argues that mountaineering developed as a pursuit in Britain during the Romantic era, earlier than is generally recognized, and shows how writers including William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Ann Radcliffe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, and Walter Scott were central to the activity’s evolution. It explores how the desire for physical ascent shaped Romantic-period literary culture, and investigates how the figure of the mountaineer became crucial to creative identities and literary outputs. Illustrated with twenty-five images from the period, the book shows how mountaineering in Britain had its origins in scientific research, antiquarian travel, and the search for the picturesque and the sublime. It considers how writers engaged with mountaineering’s power dynamics and investigates issues including the politics of the summit view (what Wordsworth terms ‘visual sovereignty’), the relationships between different types of ‘mountaineers’, and the role of women in the developing cultures of ascent. Placing the work of canonical writers alongside a wide range of other types of mountaineering literature, this book reassesses key Romantic-period terms and ideas, such as vision, insight, elevation, revelation, transcendence and the sublime. It opens up new ways of understanding the relationship between Romantic-period writers and the world that they experienced through their feet and hands, as well as their eyes, as they moved through the challenging landscapes of the British mountains."--Publisher's website.
Other formats
ebook version :
Added to Catalog
November 22, 2021
Includes bibliographical references (pages [277]-289) and index.
‘The traveller of taste, ... the naturalist, and the antiquary’ : the evolution of Romantic-period mountaineering in Britain
‘Curiosity’, ‘dangerous adventure’, and ‘the perilous point of honour’ : three case studies in the invention of mountaineering
From ‘vast extended prospect’ to ‘the spectacle of nature’ : Wordsworth, Keats, and the aesthetics of elevated viewing
‘Master[s] of the prospect’? Wordsworth, Keats, and the revelations of elevation
Romanticism on the rocks : feeling and fear in the mountains
‘Fearless I rove, exploring, free’ : the mountaineer and the Romantic imagination
‘Active climber[s] of the hills’ : women and mountaineering
‘I was a bauld craigsman’ : Walter Scott’s rock-climbing heroes
Conclusion: John Keats on Everest.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.

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