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


  • 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?

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


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.


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.


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.


Comments Off on take every precaution and abandon all fear… Mary Hall

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments are closed.