On the Admiration of Mountains, by Conrad Gesner. 4to. ; 55 pages, with 8 illustrations. Edition limited to 350 copies. San Francisco: Grabhorn Press, 1937. Price $5.00.
In a finely printed volume are presented the first complete English versions of Gesner’s letter on Mountain Admiration (1543), as well as his description of Mt. Pilatus (1555), the translations having been made by H. E. D. Soulé. These essays by the famous Zürich physician contain the new note of the esthetic sense acknowledged in relation to climbing—“for the sake of good bodily exercise and of mental delight”—and afford a graphic picture of the knowledge and pleasures of the mountain traveller four centuries ago.
J. Monroe Thorington has contributed a biographic sketch of Gesner, and, in addition, an analysis of the contemporary mountaineering background as described in Emperor Maximilian’s Theuerdank (1517), from which work the entertaining illustrations are also taken. Dr. Thorington and Dr. Dock have added bibliographic notes to a book which may be praised as a work of art because of its beautiful printing and binding. The initial letters by Dorothy Grover are in line with the high quality of the whole production.
W. S. L.