Alumni Travel Programme Reading List
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Mountains of the Mind: a history of a fascination
By Dr Robert Macfarlane (Pembroke 1994, Fellow of Emmanuel College)
Why do so many feel compelled to risk their lives climbing mountains? During the climbing season, one person a day dies in the Alps, and more people die climbing in this season in Scotland than they do on the roads.
Mountains of the Mind pursues a fascinating investigation into our emotional and imaginative responses to mountains, and how these have changed over the last few centuries. It is rich with literary and historical references, and punctuated by beautifully written descriptions of the author's own climbing experiences. There are chapters on glaciers, geology, the pursuit of fear, the desire to explore the unknown, and the desire to get to the summit, and the book ends with a gripping account of Mallory's attempt on Everest.
Mountains of the Mind is a beautifully written synthesis of climbing memoir and cultural history.
Publication date: 1 July 2008
Added: 10 May 2012
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