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Mountains of the Mind

Mountains of the Mind

Author(s): Robert Macfarlane

Location(s): China, Europe, Nepal

Genre(s): Historical, Nonfiction

Era(s): Various



Why do so many feel compelled to risk their lives climbing mountains? During the climbing season, one person a day dies in the Alps, and more people die climbing in this season in Scotland than they do on the roads. “Mountains of the Mind” pursues a fascinating 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 It is rich with literary and historical references, and punctuated by beautifully written descriptions of the author’s own climbing experiences.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. “Mountains of the Mind” is a beautifully written synthesis of climbing memoir and cultural history.

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Lead Review

‘Macfarlane writes very well – he loves the mountains as much as anyone – very personal – everyone should read it’ Trail ‘The most exhilarating history of mountaineering – less the tale of how...

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