Across Country from Thonon to Trent

Rambles and Scrambles in Switzerland and the Tyrol

By Douglas William Freshfield

Foreword by Neil Wilson

Format: Paperback

An adventure story of how three English schoolboys spent the summer of 1863 trekking through the Swiss and Italian Alps before conquering Mont Blanc. It shows how privileged young Englishmen once spent their leisure time and reveals a lifestyle long gone but still worthy of reminiscence.

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Neil Wilson Publishing

Neil Wilson Publishing is a small, independent company which prides itself on being innovative and original. Under five imprints they produce a wide range of books with a Scottish flavour.

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This is a true 'Boys' Own' adventure story of how three English schoolboys spent the summer of 1863 trekking through the Swiss and Italian Alps before conquering Mont Blanc. It is an utterly unique journal written by one of that party who would go on the become one of the great mountain and travel writers of the Victorian era and make a huge contribution to the Royal Geographic Society and the Alpine Club. His name was Douglas William Freshfield. Douglas William Freshfield was born on Sunday, 27 April 1845 in London, the only son of Henry Ray Freshfield and Jane Quinton Crawford. After being educated at Eton College and University College, Oxford, he followed his father into the legal profession and was called to the bar in 1870. One of the features of his privileged childhood was the opportunity to travel with his parents and enjoy long summer holidays abroad. At the age of eight he had his first experience of the Swiss Alps undertaking a journey from Basel to Chamonix. Eventually, in 1863, he was ready to undertake an Alpine adventure of his own planning.


This volume, which he arranged to have printed privately in 1865 was his first work of mountain literature and also his rarest. It is his journal of that trek made from the southern shores of Lake Geneva, in the company of two schoolfriends, through the Swiss Alps and into northern Italy during the summer of 1863. Freshfield was only 18 when he made the trip, and in the narrative of the journal can be found the beginnings of the style and observational genius that was to serve him well over the course of his writing career. The reader is engaged at once with the three young men as they begin their adventure and is bowled along as an unseen travelling companion through the high routes and passes, the valleys and gorges until making the summit with them on Mont Blanc. It is an engaging and informative journal of how privileged young Englishmen once spent their leisure time and reveals a lifestyle long gone now but still worthy of reminiscence.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Neil Wilson Publishing
Publication Date 14 Jan 2010
ISBN 9781906476120
Number of Pages 146

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