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book jacket

Mountain Words

Chris Harle and Graham Wilson

What an utter joy of a book, to be read and re-read and then used to chase down all those books that you've just got to read. An absolute must for all who appreciate the very best of mountain writing.

John Ignatius Murray, Irish Mountain Log, Spring 2010

Mountaineering literature, with its cast of heroes and eccentrics and everything from high drama to understated wit, is collected almost as eagerly as the routes and summits themselves. For such enthusiasts, Graham Wilson and Chris Harle have teamed up to produce Mountain Words, a book that is entertaining, informative and provides an invaluable round-up of British hill and crag writing over the last 25 years.

Part I of Mountain Words is a series of essays on mountain literature by Graham Wilson, shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Prize for his earlier book A Rope of Writers. Part II is a detailed bibliography by climber and bookseller Chris Harle of over 250 British mountain and hill books published between 1983 and 2008. Each entry contains the usual bibliographic details and a short description of the content. For a title to be included, Harle and Wilson decided it had to be the sort of book you would settle down to read—including fiction, biography, history, humour—rather than a straightforward guidebook. Also included is a list of all Boardman Tasker prize winners and short-listed books since the award began in 1983, and a list of the authors' Top Fifty recommended books published before 1983.

What [this] admirable work indicates is the need for an inclusive and critical overview of mountaineering writing in English. It is amazing that we don’t have one. Meanwhile Mountain Words, in its two halves, provides plenty to argue about and take back into re-reading this ongoing rich heritage in which the Boardman Tasker Award can now be seen to play a central role.

Terry Gifford, The Alpine Journal 2009

170x120mm, xviii + 184 pp
list price
978 1 902173 283