The biography of scientist and mountaineer T. Graham Brown shortlisted for the 2020 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature
- Wednesday 16 September 2020
The Uncrowned King of Mont Blanc – The life of T. Graham Brown, physiologist and mountaineer, has been shortlisted for the 2020 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature.
The book was shortlisted among four other titles from a total of twenty-two submissions.
Katie Ives, the 2020 Chair of Judges said that the book is 'an intricately researched biography of a Scottish mountaineer whose contributions to climbing history on Mont Blanc and other mountains have long deserved a close look—and whose life and personality may have contained enigmas as challenging as the routes that he climbed.'
Graham Brown first pursued a career as a physiologist, and the results of his research, though unrecognised at the time, largely underpin current understanding of the central control movement in animals and humans. His mountaineering career began after the First World War when he was fatefully introduced to Frank Smythe and together they made ground-breaking first ascents in the Alps, beginning an obsession with mountaineering and a feud between the pair that lasted twenty years.
The Boardman Tasker Award was established in 1983 to commemorate the lives of outstanding British mountaineers and authors Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker who lost their lives on the North East Ridge of Mount Everest in 1982. The annual prize promotes literature by awarding £3,000 to authors of an outstanding work concerned with the mountain environment.
This is the eleventh year Vertebrate titles have been selected for the shortlist, with four titles having previously won the prize: Ron Fawcett’s Rock Athlete in 2010, Andy Kirkpatrick’s Cold Wars in 2012, The Bond by Simon McCartney in 2016, and in 2017, Art of Freedom by Bernadette McDonald.
The four titles that complete the shortlist are The Unremembered Places by Peter Barker; Where There's a Will by Emily Chappell; Slatehead by Peter Goulding; and Two Trees Make a Forest by Jessica J. Lee.
The winner will be announced at the Digital Kendal Mountain Festival on Saturday 21 November 2020.