Mountains of the Mind by Robert Macfarlane
How Desolate and Forbidding Heights Were Transformed into Experiences of Indomitable Spirit

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Synopsis

Combining accounts of legendary mountain ascents with vivid descriptions of his own forays into wild, high landscapes, Robert McFarlane reveals how the mystery of the world’s highest places has came to grip the Western imagination—and perennially draws legions of adventurers up the most perilous slopes.
His story begins three centuries ago, when mountains were feared as the forbidding abodes of dragons and other mysterious beasts. In the mid-1700s the attentions of both science and poetry sparked a passion for mountains; Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Lord Byron extolled the sublime experiences to be had on high; and by 1924 the death on Mt Everest of an Englishman named George Mallory came to symbolize the heroic ideals of his day. Macfarlane also reflects on fear, risk, and the shattering beauty of ice and snow, the competition and contemplation of the climb, and the strange alternate reality of high altitude, magically enveloping us in the allure of mountains at every level.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Robert Macfarlane

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ROBERT MACFARLANE is the author of the prize-winning books of Mountains of the Mind and The Wild Places, both of which were New York Times Notable Books. He has contributed to Harper's, Granta, The Observer, The Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
 
Published September 9, 2009 by Vintage. 324 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Science & Math, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Education & Reference, Travel. Non-fiction

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Macfarlane intelligently probes the push/pull of the peaks, the odd but real pleasure of fear—its centrality to the experience—and the exhilaration of a moment reduced to the neat binaries of danger and safety, right move and wrong move, living and dying, the “human paradox of altitude: that it b...

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Publishers Weekly

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Mountains haven't always been viewed as magnificent tests of bravery or even as scenic vacation spots—only in the last few centuries have Westerners found them worthy of attention. As Br

May 05 2003 | Read Full Review of Mountains of the Mind: How De...

The Guardian

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Mountains of the Mind by Robert Macfarlane Granta £20, pp320 In 1802, on a stormy summer's afternoon in the Lake District, Samuel Coleridge is playing a game of Russian roulette.

May 11 2003 | Read Full Review of Mountains of the Mind: How De...

Publishers Weekly

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Mountains haven't always been viewed as magnificent tests of bravery or even as scenic vacation spots—only in the last few centuries have Westerners found them worthy of attention. As Br

May 05 2003 | Read Full Review of Mountains of the Mind: How De...

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