Search Site


What's new this month? November 2016

Friday, 4 November 2016

This month at Vertebrate we’re giving you a sneak peak into the next two books in our Tilman series – which cover Bill Tilman’s travels from central China to Pakistan and his final voyages in his pilot cutter Mischief – and John Harding’s Distant Snows, which recalls the author’s globetrotting adventures. Read on to find out more …


Distant Snows (John Harding) 

What’s inside? In Distant Snows, mountaineer John Harding recollects his worldwide adventures spanning sixty years across Europe, Iran, East Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Arctic. He climbed many classic peaks including Mont Blanc, Mount Kenya, and Mount Cook, explored obscure ranges, and pioneered ski mountaineering expeditions in Turkey, Spain and Greece.

What we think: Written with candour, a sharp eye for the tragicomic and with a sympathetic insight into the history and culture of indigenous mountain peoples, Harding’s compelling narrative proclaims the power of nature, the glory of landscape and the spirit of the mountains. 

Who’ll love it? This is a must-read for mountaineers, lovers of the natural world and those with aspirations of adventure.




China to Chitral (H.W. Tilman)

What’s inside? In China to Chitral Tilman completes one of his great post-war journeys. He travels from Central China, crossing Sinkiang, the Gobi and Takla Makan Deserts, before escaping to a crumbling British Empire.

Widely regarded as some of Tilman’s finest travel writing, China to Chitral is full of understatement and laconic humour, with descriptions of disastrous attempts on unclimbed mountains.

What we think: Tilman’s trademark understated, brilliant humour, love of the landscape and quiet obsession with some of the finer idiosyncrasies of Chinese cuisine make for an epic of travel literature, and of course a fine testament to this incredible man.



In Mischief Wake (H.W. Tilman)

What’s inside? The first of the three voyages described in this book gives H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman’s account of the final voyage and loss of Mischief, the Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter in which he had sailed over 100,000 miles to high latitudes in both Arctic and Antarctic waters.

Back home, refusing to accept defeat and going against the advice of his surveyor, he takes ownership of Sea Breeze and heads north toward the East Greenland coast. But a mere forty miles from the entrance to Scoresby Sound, Tilman’s long sought after objective, ‘a polite mutiny’ forced him to abandon the voyage and head home. 

What we think: this is classic, timeless mountaineering and adventure-travel writing with excellent humour throughout.

Who’ll love these books? Adventurers with a passion for exploring unchartered landscapes and an appreciation for charming prose. 


Back to Top
. . .