Mountain Memoirs

There is only a handful of titles on military mountaineering, but John Carroll presents two very different examples of them

At a glance these two books have little in common: one's a hardback first edition and the other's a nearly new paperback; they are about different decades, different continents and written by authors of different nationalities. However, they both have military connections and belong to the specific genre of books labelled 'mountain literature'. A tradition of mountain literature dates back to 18th-century Europe and the Victorians' romantic take on mountains. Like many outdoor pursuits, rock climbing's popularity subsequently boomed during the 1930s and it was this that indirectly led to the exploits described in the first book, No Picnic on Mount Kenya.

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