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A Treasury of Mountaineering Stories

A Treasury of Mountaineering Stories, edited by Daniel Talbot.

Pp. xii, 337. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1954. Price, $5.00.

As the literature of mountaineering becomes richer with the ever broadening interest and participation in climbing, it is inevitable that new views and new material will evoke new anthologies. And, as in the past, each will have its special merits. Such is the case here, for this collection, edited by Daniel Talbot, is distinguished from other recent anthologies in that it includes only stories—“diversified mountaineering stories to be read for pleasure.” On the whole the selection is quite successful. The stories are certainly diversified and offer pleasant entertainment to readers of varied tastes. In character they range from narratives of actual occurrences to tales of imaginative realism, fantasy, and even burlesque. Moreover, the mountaineering aspects are for the most part recognizable to mountaineers.

Some of the stories are better than others. In what respect? I have endeavored to answer this question for myself and I offer the result for the benefit of those who like an argument. The ratings expressed in the following list are impressions, on the basis of 10 for the best in this particular collection.







Literary Quality

Mountain eering Interest



























6.

Boyle

Maiden, Maiden

10

10



17.

Montague

Action

10

10



2.

Wells

Little Mother Up the Möderberg

10

9



18.

Bruhl

The Great Match

8

10



4.

Stifter

Rock Crystal

10

7



8.

Knowlton

A Petite Première in the Mont Blanc Massif

8

9















11.

Bottome

A Splendid Fellow

9

8



15.

White

Climbing for Goats

10

7



19.

Mummery

The Matterhorn

7

10



1.

Hopkinson

Mountain Madness

8

8



3.

Ullman

Top Man

8

8



14.

Frison-Roche

Their Kingdom

8

8



9.

West

The Ascent

8

7



10.

Ervine

The Mountain

8

7



16.

Bates

Wailing Precipice

8

6



5.

Lidin

Glaciers

7

5



12.

De Maupassant

The Inn

9

2



7.

Todd

Over the Mountain

6

4



13.

Young

The Stream

5

1



Well, what is your opinion?

Francis P. Farquhar