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The Alps

The Alps, by Wilfrid Noyce, with descriptive essays by Karl Lukan, translated from the German edition of 1959 by Margaret Shenfield. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1963. 4 to, 312 pages, 222 photographs and 6 maps. Price $15.00.

Although heavy and expensive, this is a fine picture-book, of great, perhaps too great scope, since it attempts to cover the Alps from Mont Ventoux in Provence to the Peilstein, rising above the Danube Valley near Vienna. There are sectional maps to orient the reader and at the end, a list of important dates in Alpine history, and an index. The name of Wilfred Noyce appears alone on the jacket, his contribution being limited to an introduction of eight pages and an adequate commentary on the illustrations. The descriptive essays, however, are by Karl Lukan, whose entertaining Tausend Gipfel und noch mebr we reviewed in the 1962 Journal, and who can always be counted on for writing that is both thoughtful and amusing. (Schwanda’s rule: 'traverses should be taken as deeply as possible’.) The illustrations are excellent, although it is strange that the section on the Ortler, the sixth ascent, by Thurwieser in 1834, includes no picture of that important summit. The first ascent of the Rocciamelone (p. 305) was made in 1358, not 1388, and a number of proper names are misspelled.

J. Monroe Thorington