Climbing on the Himalaya and other Mountain Ranges.

Edinburgh, T. and A. Constable for David Douglas, 1902.

8vo, pp. vii, [5], 315, [1 (publisher’s advertisement)]; photogravure frontispiece and 14 photogravure plates, all retaining tissue guards, after Collie and Colin B. Phillip, 3 Swantype plates after Phillip, one double-page, and 3 folding lithographic maps by J. Bartholomew & Co.; loosely-inserted flyer advertising the work, 8vo, 4pp; some light spotting on early leaves and flyer; original green cloth, spine lettered in gilt, top edges gilt, others uncut; endpapers slightly spotted, extremities lightly rubbed and bumped, nonetheless a very good copy in the original cloth; provenance: ‘M. Holzmann’ (signature on front free endpaper, most probably that of Sir Maurice Holzmann, 1835-1909, Secretary and Keeper of the Records of the Duchy of Cornwall, Clerk of the Council of the Prince of Wales, and Extra Groom-in-Waiting to King Edward VII; alpine mountaineer and member of the Alpine and Climbers Clubs) – Humphrey Owen Jones, Clare College, Cambridge (1878-1912, bookplate dated 1909 on upper pastedown).


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First edition, published in the year that Collie (1859-1942) became professor of organic chemistry at University College London. ‘Besides his eminence as a scientist, [Collie] acquired great fame as a climber and explorer of mountains. Beginning with the Cuillin peaks in Skye, where he discovered many new climbs, he climbed with notable success in the Alps, and went in 1895 with A. F. Mummery to the Himalayas, where they attempted the ascent of Nanga Parbat; during this expedition Mummery was killed, an episode which deeply affected Collie ... His books, Climbing on the Himalaya and other Mountain Ranges (1902) and (with Hugh E. M. Stutfield) Climbs and Exploration in the Canadian Rockies (1903), are famous records ... He was elected president of the Alpine Club in 1920 and was an honorary member of many other climbing clubs’ (ODNB).

This copy was formerly in the library of the Welsh chemist Humphrey Owen Jones, Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and of the Royal Society. Jones was also an enthusiastic mountaineer, who climbed regularly in Snowdonia from 1907: ‘[he] proved to be a born rock climber, and he brought to mountaineering the same vigour and enthusiasm which he showed in his scientific work’ (J. Shorter, ‘Humphrey Owen Jones, F.R.S.’, Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London vol. 33 (1979), p. 272). Together with his student and (later) wife Muriel Gwendolen Edwards, he visited the Alps regularly. This interest would have doubtless made Collie’s work particularly interesting to Jones, since the chapter on the Alps discusses Mont Blanc in some detail. Following their marriage on 1 August 1912, the Joneses honeymooned in the Alps, where they embarked upon an ascent of Mont Rouge de Peuteret (a peak on the south side of Mont Blanc) with their guide Julius Truffer on 15 August. During the ascent, Truffer slipped and pulled the other two, roped climbers with him to their deaths on the Fresnay Glacier, some 300 metres below.

NLS, Mountaineering, c259; Neate C94; Perret 1059; Yakushi (3rd ed.) C315.

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