Chamonix et le Mont Blanc, by Paul Payot and G. Tairraz. 24 pages of text, 48 pages of illustrations. In a series entitled “Aspects de la France.” Grenoble and Paris: B. Arthaud, 1949.
Payot is a native of Chamonix and has become the authority on the history of the valley. In small space he presents almost everything one wants to know, from 15 August 1091, when Aimon of Geneva gave to the monastery of St. Michel de la Cluse the region of Mont Blanc called “Campus Munitus,” down to the conquest of Mont Blanc and subsequent mountaineering. Few of the great figures are left out. Not all the great were climbers: the number of 19th-century celebrities who visited the Montenvers alone is enough to show the compelling attraction which this valley held for all travellers of the time. The book will also tell you where to go and what to see, all about the ski-lifts and téléfériques, and how it is to be there in winter as well as other seasons of the year. Tairraz has supplied breath-taking pictures, with English captions; and the trifling price of the book makes it an attractive buy.