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'What's new this month?' October 2016

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Here at Vertebrate Publishing, I manage the fast-developing ebook programme. Not only do we publish ebook versions of all our frontlist titles, we are steadily bringing back some of the classic outdoor and mountain literature of this century and last, including additional new content such as forewords and introductions from respected adventurers and writers. 

As we read these old books, we are realising more and more how relevant these early works still are today, and how revolutionary some of our forebears were. Despite huge advances in equipment, technology and accessibility, often we look to these pioneers for advice and inspiration.

We feel lucky to be able to bring these titles to a wider audience by producing them in ebook format for you. Take a look at what we’ve got coming up before Christmas.

Rope Boy by Dennis Gray

Rope Boy is the story of a young lad from Leeds who gets his first taste of rock at age eleven, and goes on to become a prominent figure in the UK climbing scene for decades to come. Gray’s climbing career began with the ‘Bradford Lads’, climbing in Yorkshire, Scotland and Wales, and he was soon climbing with the Rock and Ice legends Joe Brown, Don Whillans and Nat Allen, among others. Larger objectives beckoned, and Gray embarked upon multiple expeditions to the Alps as well as to the Himalaya, the Andes, and America, making numerous first ascents along the way. 

Publishing manager John Coefield says: 'While Dennis covers many other climbs with many other climbers in Rope Boy, I found it particularly enjoyable for its profile of the of the Rock and Ice Club and the activities (largely tea drinking and climbing, in that order … ) of its early members. Written when it was, in the early seventies, there's a freshness to Dennis's portraits of the likes of Don Whillans and Joe Brown, which might be absent from reminiscences written many decades later. In particular, the chapter where the young Dennis is promoted to serve as 'Gentleman's Gentleman' to Brown is a treat – an appointment which, like much of the Rock and Ice's activities, involved making and drinking huge quantities of tea …' 

My first Summer in the Sierra by John Muir

‘Divine beauty all. Here I could stay tethered forever with just bread and water, nor would I be lonely.’

In the summer of 1869, John Muir joined a group of shepherds in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, that he might study and expand his knowledge of the plants, animals and rocks he found there. My First Summer in the Sierra – first published in 1911 – is the detailed and colourful diary he kept while tending sheep and exploring the wilderness.

Vertebrate editor Camilla, says: 'Reading Muir’s stories is an absolute delight. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, it’s informative, and the imagery he describes is magnificent. Muir gets so excited about absolutely everything in the mountains, I just can’t help but get sucked. One of my favourite lines from this book is, ‘Only spread a fern frond over a man's head and worldly cares are cast out, and freedom and beauty and peace come in’. I can’t wait to read more.'


Two Mountains and a River and Mischief goes South by H.W. Tilman OUT NOW

This latest instalment of adventures chronicle Tilman’s treks and climbs in locations across Africa, his voyages in the Antarctic Peninsula, including his exploration of Smith Island and the unclimbed Mount Foster, and his circumnavigation of Africa. 

Classic quotes that editor Camilla enjoyed from these titles include:

‘One door in a tent is an unfortunate necessity, two are a disaster.’

‘Already the breeze of anxiety was playing around the brow of expectation.’

‘My repeated visits and my harassed face became the cause of kind inquiries.’





Our ebooks are available on Amazon Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo and other leading providers.

Blog by Vertebrate's editor, Camilla.

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