The Mountaineer’s Week-End Book, by Showell Styles. 408 pages, with decorations by Thomas Beck. The Week-End Series. London: Seeley Service, 1950. Price, 12/6.
This grabbag for a rucksack is of course intended for British mountaineers, but it makes for a feeling so happy and serendipitous that it must surely appeal to others, too. “It is,” the Forewarning announces, “a Compendium, this book, of Things About Mountains.” Look up the Chough, or the Alpine Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla Alpina). Check the food value of bully beef, or the height of Olympus, or the length of a Norwegian mile. Turn to page 205 if you have a blister, or to page 170 if you are weatherbound and can not remember the rules of Battleship. Or just browse among the “Bits and Pieces,” or settle down to read through the short anthologies of mountain prose and poetry—“The Great Game” and “Mountain Air.” The book, which seems to induce cheerful humming noises, even supplies the words and music of some appropriate songs, including several of Geoffrey Winthrop Young’s. The decorations are pleasant, too.