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Alpine Glaciers

Alpine Glaciers, by A. E. Lockington Vial. London: The Blatch- worth Press, 1952. (7½ x 10¼"). Price 30 shillings.

It has been a pleasure to review Alpine Glaciers, written by a member of the British Glacialogical Society. Perhaps his description of the phenomena of the ice world may not be as thorough as Drygalski & Machatschek’s classic Gletscherkunde, but what Vial’s book may lack in scientific depth, it makes up, many times over, by the numerous beautiful illustrations, all of the Alps. These illustrations carry the reader back in an instant from his seat at a dingy desk in the city to a sunny afternoon of relaxation in June at the Alp Briccola (page 101), to the crunch of Tricounis against the miniature ice towers of the Gorner Glacier (page 93), or to a memory of the Mönch seen from the Jungfrau (page 120). But let the reader open the book for himself.

It is particularly pleasant that not every one of the 85 illustrations, by any means, is identified by name. One thus does not feel that the book is intended to advertise how many seasons its author had spent in Switzerland, each in a different center.

If ever the book were reprinted, attention should be called to pages 61-62, where “Schonbull,” “Val d’Héréns,” “Dente Blanche” occur five times.

En passant his Monte Rosa (page 112), while obviously made at least before the last war, gives the true light value to the “White Lane” of the Gorner Glacier, so generally unnoticed in ordinary photographs.

Joel E. Fisher