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Item #: BK1533-5839
DUKE OF THE ABRUZZI: AN EXPLORER'S LIFE Mirella Tenderini 1997 1st ed Hardcover D Multiple Copies Available
By Tenderini, Mirella and Michael Shandrick
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Seattle, 1997, 1st edition. 189 pp, many b/w photos. Hardcover with dust jacket. New.

This biography of the Duke of the Abruzzi is the only biography available of the great climber and explorer. 

Grandson of the first king of Italy, Luigi Amedeo di Savoia-Aosta, the Duke of the Abruzzi, was one of the most celebrated explorers of the early twentieth century. This volume, the first full-scale biography in English, vividly recounts not only the details of his pioneering expeditions but also the intriguing story of his personal life.

The Duke's lifelong passion for adventure began in the Italian Alps of his childhood. Having mastered the Zmutt Ridge of the Matterhorn at age twenty-one, he vowed to devote himself to mountain exploration. Just three years later, in 1897, he completed the first successful ascent of Alaska's Mount St. Elias.

His 1899 attempt to be the first to reach the North Pole fell short of its goal but succeeded in going farther north than any previous expedition. As the new century opened, he was mainly occupied with his naval career but still found time to explore the Ruwenzori range in Africa.

The achievement for which he is most noted, his pioneering climb on K2 via the route that now bears his name-the Abruzzi Ridge, came in 1909. In little more than a decade, the Duke had established himself as one of the foremost explorers of his time.

The Duke was a man of many talents, and detailed here are his illustrious career as an officer in the Italian navy, his service as a diplomatic envoy for his country, and his fame as a sports car driver and yachtsman. Also told is the story of his doomed romance with a young American heiress -- one of the most publicized love affairs of the age -- and of his friendship with the photographer Vittorio Sella. Sella accompanied the Duke on most of his expeditions and many of his beautiful and historically important photographs illustrate the book.

The Duke of the Abruzzi is an engrossing account of an incredible life, introducing the reader to this complex and fascinating explorer and providing insight into his motivations and personality-it's sure to be a mountaineering classic.

Luigi Amedeo di Savoy, the Duke of Abruzzi [1873 - 1933] was born in Madrid to the then king of Spain also a Savoy, who abdicated his throne only a few weeks after his son's birth and returned to Italy. When he was six years old, young Luigi was assigned to the Italian Navy and received his entire education in military schools. A man of great energy and imagination, at the age of 24 he organised and led the expedition that made the first ascent of Mount St Elias [5,484 metres] in Alaska in 1897. Two years later he led an expedition to the North Pole which reached a latitude 86^34' north, a new record at the time. In 1906 he led the Rwenzori expedition which climbed all the major peaks and made the most extensive exploration of the range before or since. A few years later, in 1909, he organised an expedition to the Karakoram and set the record to the highest altitude yet achieved by ascending the second highest mountain in the world, K2, to a height of about 7,500 metres [24,600 feet], along the route that today bears his name, the Abruzzi ridge.


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