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Item #: OP91-969
MENLOVE: THE LIFE OF JOHN MENLOVE EDWARDS: WITH AN APPENDIX OF HIS WRITINGS Jim Perrin 1985 1st UK ed Hardcover DJ Fine Winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize
By Perrin, Jim
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London, 1985, 1st edition. 347 pp, b/w photos. Biography of a leading British climber of the 1930's, who was an extraordinary character in many respects. Jim Perrin explores the life of a tragic hero from the early days of British Climbing. Menlove was an inspired climber, and Perrin lovingly explores his life from birth to tragically early death. The writing style is highly literary, with frequent analysis of Menlove's writings used to illustrate his intellectual development and eventual self defeat. Fascinating and touching. Hardcover DJ, as Fine-New. 

Winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountaineering Literature.

This is from the dust jacket: "Greatest of pre-war rock-climbing pioneers and perhaps the best of all writers on his sport, John Menlove Edwards led a life the resonance and interest of which stretches far beyond the confines of mountaineering.  His explorations on British rock raised the standards and broadened the repertoire of the sport to produce many of the most popular Welsh climbs of the present day.

At the outbreak of war, despite an ambivalent desire for the adventure it could offer, he took his stand as a Conscientious Objector. Not wishing to be a burden to the society from which he felt himself estranged, he isolated himself in a remote Welsh cottage, but eventually returned to work during the latter years of the war at the Tavistock Clinic and Great Ormond Street Hospital. As his climbing exploits became less frequent, so did his grip on sanity slacken. The story of his last years, until his suicide in 1958, is almost unbearably painful and tragic to read.

Jim Perrin's biography is a fitting memorial to this remarkable man. Its coverage of the climbing, and Menlove's idiosyncratic vision of that, is lucid and detailed. But it also engages directly with the difficult social issues which bore upon Menlove's life to provide a frank, penetrating and compassionate record of a strange, complex and challengingly different human being whose story has the force and intensity of Promethean myth.

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