Whymper, Edward & Lady Blanche Murphy; Scrambles Amongst the Alps & Down the Rhine, with Illustrations. Burrows Brothers Co., Cleveland, Ohio, no date on title, with 1890 copyright date on Burrows Brothers Co. map of Switzerland-Savoy. Quarto, pp. 164, frontispiece, map, 83 plates, full page woodcuts and text woodcuts. Half title to second work, pp. 75, and 45 full page and text woodcuts in second work, 3 pages ads.
The two works (bound together as issued) are complete with the map, plates and text wood cuts present. Bound in the original gray cloth with silver gilt cover titles and vignette and gold gilt spine titles and spine vignette. Bevelled edges to boards, decorative end sheets and gilt text block edges. The binding is tight, titles and vignettes are bright and sharp, coffee cup ring stain on rear cover, early ownership Christmas gift inscription on first blank page. Text, map and all woodcuts are very clean. In very good condition.
The Whymper narrative was originally published in London in 1871 and went through numerous printings before being published in America circa 1880 without a map and circa 1890 with the map added and dated 1890. The 1880 printing is the first time the Lady Murphy work appeared and her work was apparently never printed as a stand alone work.
Edward Whymper FRSE, (1840-1911) was a famous English mountaineer, explorer, illustrator and author. He is best remembered for the first successful ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. Four members of the climbing group were killed on the descent from the peak. Whymper also made successful ascents on Mont Blanc and in the Pennine Alps, Chimborazo in South America and the Canadian Rockies. His explorations in Greenland led to important advances in Arctic exploration. Trained as a wood engraver at an early age, Whymper’s illustrations are found throughout his work. First published in 1871, Scrambles Amongst the Alps is Whymper's own story of his nine years spent climbing in the Alps. The book is also one of the first to be devoted to the challenges of mountaineering, and is considered by many to be the best and most authoritative mountain travel book of the period. Whymper's first successful ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865, on his eighth attempt, is described here and remains the classic mountain story of triumph and tragedy. The book’s success led to it being a classic of mountaineering and thus went through many editions.
The American editions include Lady Blanche Murphy’s (1845-1881) work “Down the Rhine”. Lady Blanche Murphy was born in England to aristocrats and died in America in New Hampshire. She was an author and journalist in America and gained the attention of the world when she defied the Victorian era tradition of marriage by marrying someone; Thomas Murphy, considered to be a commoner by society and below her aristocratic social level. Queen Victoria was her god mother. Thomas Murphy was an organist who also gave private singing lessons to Lady Blanche. The couple sailed to America and finally settled first in New York City and then in New Hampshire where she held positions in journalism and in writing articles for magazines and books while her husband secured positions teaching music. She died after a brief illness in 1881. Lady Blanche was also active in early movements for women’s rights and the right to vote.