take every precaution and abandon all fear… Mary Hall


How to climb Mt. Blanc in a skirt : a handbook for the lady adventurer  Mick Conefrey  New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2011  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. x, 244 p. : ill. ; 22 cm. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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  • Which explorer found the lost site of Jesus’ first miracle?
  • Who was first to the top of the highest mountain in Peru?
  • Who was the first Westerner to visit the Ottoman harem in Constantinople?
  • Who held the world record as the only person to fly from Britain to Australia for 44 years?

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You’ll find the answers to these questions and more in Mick Conefrey’s book (a hint: none of them had beards).

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In 1870, New York mountaineer Meta Brevoort climbed Mt. Blanc in a hoop skirt. Pausing at the summit only long enough to drink a glass of champagne and dance the quadrille with her alpine guides, she marched back down the mountain and into history as one of the first female mountain explorers.

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Here, Mick Conefrey weaves together tips, how-tos, anecdotes, and eccentric lists to tell the amazing stories of history’s great female explorers — women who were just as fascinating and inspiring as all the Shackletons, Mallorys, and Livingstones. Most were brave, some were reckless, and all were fascinating.

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From Fanny Bullock Workman, who was photographed on top of a mountain pass in the Karakoram, holding up a banner calling for “Votes for Women” to Mary Hall, the Victorian world traveler, whose motto was, “take every precaution and abandon all fear,” How to Climb Mt. Blanc in a Skirt is uproariously funny and occasionally downright strange.

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