London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1875. First Edition. Hardcover. First printing, octavo size, 405 pp. Very good +. Item #21100106
Douglas William Freshfield (1845-1934) began mountaineering as a young man, making the first ascent of the Tour Ronde in 1867, and the first ascent of Mt. Elbrus (18,510 feet) in 1868. As well as continuing to climb, he would go on to become President (1914-17) of the Royal Geographical Society and Chairman of the Society of Authors (1908-09).
This work, "Italian Alps", is (in Freshfield's own words) "a patchwork from the journals of seven summers. Their chief claim to interest lies in the fact that they deal with portions of the Alpine chain, about which English readers have hitherto found no information in their own language except in guide-books..." After stating that, if he could, he would have left the region a secret (and therefore unspoiled), after admitting that could not be the case, he decided that it would be "better that they [i.e., the mountains] should be introduced by one who had with them a friendship of some years' standing..."
This the first edition in the "primary" decorative binding, rather than the plain cloth binding.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full green cloth over boards, the front board with richly decorative lettering in gilt, with black rules and decorations debossed, the spine with gilt lettering and rules and black decorations, the back board with a double blind-debossed ruled border, green coated endpapers, frontis one of nine full-page wood-engravings ("The Cima Tomsa"), title page with a small wood-engraved vignette, Errata slip tipped-in between the "List of Illustrations and Maps" and the initial folding map, and with five folding maps being mostly black-and white with some highlights in blue, these vary in size from a simple two panels to the final map which measures 14.25" by 9.75" when unfolded; octavo size (8" by 5.75"), pagination: [i-vii] viii-xviii, [1-2] 3-385 [2 pp. publisher's ads].
___CONDITION: Better than very good, the binding clean overall and with only a few, light stray marks, the gilt on the front and spine bright and unrubbed, the corners straight, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior mostly clean with a few light spots of foxing scattered throughout, the maps mostly fine, a few near fine with unintended creases at the margins (due to folding and not ensuring the free side properly laid down), each map clean and without tears, the volume free of prior owner signatures or inscriptions; the cloth on the corners just beginning to rub, the head and tail of the spine bumped with the cloth similarly just beginning to rub, some lightly pencilled markings, likely prior bookseller codes, on the second page of the publisher's ads and the recto of the rear free endpaper.
___CITATION: Neate no. 286.
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