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Item #: OP157G-295
THE NIGHT CLIMBERS OF CAMBRIDGE Whipplesnaith 1937 Rare 1st ed Hardcover No DJ Very Good
By Whipplesnaith (Noel Howard Symington)
Price: $199.00

List Price: $500.00
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Detailed Product Description
London, 1937, rare 1st edition. 183 pp, 70 photos, maps, route diagrams. This copy is very clean, the only flaws being some wear at the top and bottom of the spine, the spine title is faded, and there is a previous owner's bookplate on the FEP. First editions are scarce, we have not had a first edition of this title in 20 years. Very Good condition.

The Night Climbers of Cambridge has has built up a cult following with copies of old editions becoming increasingly rare. Authored under the pseudonym Whipplesnaith it recounts the courageous (or foolhardy) nocturnal exploits of a group of students climbing the ancient university and town buildings of Cambridge.

These daring stegophilic feats, including such heights as the Fitzwilliam Museum and the venerable King's College Chapel, were recorded with prehistoric photographic paraphernalia carried aloft over battlements, up chimneys and down drain-pipes. The climbers all this while trying, with mixed results, to avoid detection by the 'Minions of Authority': university proctors, Bulldogs and, of course, the local 'Roberts'...
 
The result is a fascinating, humorous and, at times, adrenalin-inducing adventure providing a rare glimpse into a side of Cambridge that has always been enshrouded by darkness. The tradition, known now as urban climbing, buildering, structuring or stegophily and followed all over the world, started long before publication of the first edition.
 
 
Scaling the walls of buildings has probably been around for as long as there has been youth and feelings of invincibility. Beyond the rebel-without-a-cause stereotype, buildering encompasses a rich and storied past that involved rakish youths at British Universities like Oxford and Cambridge.

Buildering actually started in the 1890s, and Cambridge (and Oxford to some extent) developed a sophisticated subculture that flourished in the 1920s and 30s. After Geoffrey Winthrop Young, the noted English writer and mountaineer, published The Roof Climbers Guide to Trinity in 1899, a succession of Cambridge buildering references followed: Wall and Roof Climbing (1905), Climbing in Cambridge: An essay and some incidents (1921), articles in the Alpine Sports in Cambridge (1924) and A Novel Climb in Cambridge (1926). The holy grail of buildering references is the highly influential and much revered The Night Climbers of Cambridge, published in 1937, detailed, along with diagrams and photographs, the classic routes on campus: King's College, St John's College and The Senate Leap.


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