The New Mountaineer in Late Victorian Britain

Materiality, Modernity, and the Haptic Sublime

  • Alan McNee

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Alan McNee
    Pages 1-30
  3. Alan McNee
    Pages 31-72
  4. Alan McNee
    Pages 73-107
  5. Alan McNee
    Pages 109-148
  6. Alan McNee
    Pages 149-188
  7. Alan McNee
    Pages 219-223
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 225-257

About this book


This book is about the rise of a new ethos in British mountaineering during the late nineteenth century. It traces how British attitudes to mountains were transformed by developments both within the new sport of mountaineering and in the wider fin-de-siècle culture. The emergence of the new genre of mountaineering literature, which helped to create a self-conscious community of climbers with broadly shared values, coincided with a range of cultural and scientific trends that also influenced the direction of mountaineering. The author discusses the growing preoccupation with the physical basis of aesthetic sensations, and with physicality and materiality in general; the new interest in the physiology of effort and fatigue; and the characteristically Victorian drive to enumerate, codify, and classify. Examining a wide range of texts, from memoirs and climbing club journals to hotel visitors’ books, he argues that the figure known as the ‘New Mountaineer’ was seen to embody a distinctly modern approach to mountain climbing and mountain aesthetics.  


Environment Nineteenth Century Mountaineering Literature Leisure Sport

Authors and affiliations

  • Alan McNee
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information