Switzerland and the English, by Arnold Lunn. 258 pages, with 16 pages of illustrations. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1944. 15/-.
Switzerland and the English has not hitherto been reviewed here, though it was published in England in 1944. Inevitably its 14 beautifully illustrated essays are tinged with wartime feelings, but little bitterness colors its expressions of overflowing love for the mountains. As might be expected, Arnold Lunn, a brilliant writer who loads every rift with ore, writes with fluent style and stirring quotations from famous mountain writers. As each of his essays is an entity in itself, there is little continuity in the book; but few readers will find this lack of organization a disadvantage. The book is written for a somewhat limited audience, for those who know something of mountain literature, and of the early days of Alpine climbing and the Alpine Club. Readers will find Mr. Lunn’s anecdotes of climbing and skiing as delightful as his thoughts are provocative, though some may feel that he overdoes theistic discussions, and others may disagree, for instance, with his prejudices against ancient Greek appreciation of beauty, and Byron, and the use of pitons.
Better locate a copy! Switzerland and the English belongs in your mountain library, and it will make you think.
R. H. Bates