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Item #: OP260A-1062p
THE ASCENT OF MOUNT ST. ELIAS [ALASKA] BY H.R.H. PRINCE LUIGI AMEDEO DI SAVOIA, DUKE OF THE ABRUZZI Filippo de Filippi 1900 1st UK ed Fine 2 copies available
By Filippi, Filippo de, Photographs by Vittorio Sella, Duke of the Abruzzi
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FULL TITLE:

THE ASCENT OF MOUNT ST. ELIAS [ALASKA] BY H.R.H. PRINCE LUIGI AMEDEO DI SAVOIA, DUKE OF THE ABRUZZI. NARRATED BY FILIPPO DE FILIPPI, ILLUSTRATED BY VITTORIO SELLA, AND TRANSLATED BY SIGNORA LINDA VILLARI WITH THE AUTHOR' SUPERVISION. [Both Filippo and Luigi spoke excellent English, and but they wanted a professional translator so the glory of climbing St Elias would not get ''lost in translation,''

London, Constable, 1900, 1st UK edition. 241 pp, 34 plates, ills, fold-out maps and panoramas. TEG. Photos by Vittorio Sella. This is a tall hardcover book, 11 inches tall. It weighs 4 lbs 11 oz. It is bound in its original green cloth hardcover with a dark green plate on cover, another on the spine with gold lettering. There is no edge wear on the corners and the top and bottom of spine. Interior clean, tight and solid with its binding.  Overall Fine condition.

All copies of this book eventually need binding repair as the original Gutta Percha glue that bound the book has dried out in the last 120 years. The pages has now been glued on their edge, which has been done using modern glue that will not deteriorate for many ears, if ever. As part of the repair of the binding, the book cover was re-sewn to the pages with new endpapers, and a new cloth hinge  was installed connecting the covers and spine. This is known a rebacking. This has been done by a professional book binder with whom we have worked for 30+ years. She knows this book well, and we have recommended her frequently to owners of copies that need the 100 year ''face lift'' that this book requires. 

The only other mountaineering book that we come across frequently, that has the same ill chosen use of Gutta Percha, is TWO SUMMERS IN THE ICE-WILDS OF EASTERN KARAKORAM by Fanny Bullock and William Hunter Workman.

Due to the size and weight of this book, extra postage will be requested for Media Mail, Priority Mail or International Mail.

A magnificent book, the finest on any North American climb. The Duke of Abruzzi traveled in style, with Italian mountain guides, folding metal beds, and I am sure plenty of Italian wine. This expedition succeeded in making the first ascent of St. Elias on July 31, 1897  [Neate F24.] Not every non-fiction book has an index, relying on 10 named chapters for navigating the book. However, some previous owner of a copy put together an index, which our original was typed and mimeographed on to 15 pages. We now make xerox copies and include one in every copy of the book we sell. 




Duke of the Abruzzi
 
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 organized and led the expedition that made the first ascent of Mount St Elias [5,484 meters] 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 Ruwenzori 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 organized 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 meters [24,600 feet], along the route that today bears his name, the Abruzzi ridge.

Filippo De Filippi  1869-1938

Filippo De Filippi (18691938) was an Italian medical doctor, scientist, mountaineer and explorer. He is best known now as the author of the expedition narratives, which appeared in Italian, German and English. In English the books appeared in New York and London, and some volumes had different physical features. Content-wise they are indentical. 

Well known as an Alpine mountaineer, in 1897 De Filippi joined the Duke of the Abruzzi in an expedition to Alaska where they were the first people to climb Mount Saint Elias on 31 July. Then, in 1903, he explored Asia, crossing the Caucasus and entering Turkestan. In 1906 he wrote the book about (though did not take part in) Abruzzi's exploration of the Ruwenzori mountains on the UgandaCongo border. In 1909 he again went with the Duke of the Abruzzi, this time in the Karakoram mountains, writing the book describing the expedition.

From 1913 to 1914, De Filippi organized and led a large and highly successful scientific expedition to Central Asia: Baltistan, Ladakh and Xinjiang. Accurate gravity and magnetic measurements were made and wireless signals were used to determine longitude. There were ethnological and anthropological, topographical and geological studies. The exploration determined that the Rimo Glacier formed the watershed of Central Asia. The work was written up in seventeen volumes. 


Vittorio Sella [1859 - 1943] 

Sella was the Italian alpinist and photographer who accompanied the 1906 Abruzzi Ruwenzori expedition and who was perhaps the greatest of all alpine photographers. It was Sella who first recorded the landscape, plants and people of the Ruwenzori in extensive and intimate detail, and to whom we refer for clarity of the historical record and pure artistic beauty. 

It is particularly interesting to note how far the glaciers of the Ruwenzori have receded since these photographs were taken, nearly 90 years ago. Vittorio Sella was born in Biella, Italy, to father who was a successful textile industrialist and scientist ad who, in 1856, had been the first Italian to write a treatise on photography. Vittorio owed his interest in the mountains to his uncle, Quintino, founder of the Alpine Club of Italy.

As a young man, Vittorio had worked as a chemist in his father's textile factory, but it was his passion for taking beautiful panoramic photographs of the mountains which made him famous. From 1880 to 1893 he compiled a detailed portfolio of the Alps, combining his photography with impressive alpinism, such as the first winter traverse of the Matterhorn in 1882.

Sella made three expeditions to the Caucasus, in 1889, 1890 and 1896, for which his photography received awards from Britain's Royal Geographical Society. In 1899 he accompanied his friend the alpinist Douglas W. Freshfield on a difficult exploration of Kanchenjunga in Sikkim. In 1906 he visited the Ruwenzori in the Congo. It had never been visited by a European. He and his team made the first ascents of 56 major peaks. 

The Duke of Abruzzi greatly admired Sella's work and invited him to be the official photographer for the expeditions to Mount St Elias in Alaska, in to the Karakoram, and to the Ruwenzori. . 

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