The author's preface to this substantial volume explains that its purpose is not to blind the reader with photographic technical information, but rather to offer mountain photography as a 'sport of hobby (which will) add enormously to ... appreciation of the scenery and enjoyment...'. The joys of the Alps were first exploited in the mid-19th century, the area becoming increasingly accessible with the growth of railway travel and (by the 1920s) air travel also. This book, compiled in 1927, would have appealed to the many visitors then venturing into a Europe only recently devastated by the Great War, and rediscovering its possibilities for relaxation and entertainment. Photography was also a popular art form, and the book does in fact offer some practical advice for the keen amateur practitioner.
(Ernest) Arthur Gadner (1878-1972) was an English writer who inherited an interest in medieval art and excellent photographic skills from his father, the antiquary Samuel Gardner. He published a number of books on medieval architecture and sculpture, illustrated with many photographs of monuments and important buildings, travelling all over the British Isles and the Continent in pursuance of this interest. He was greatly impressed by the grandeur of the Alps, as his book proves.
Our copy is in excellent general condition, protected by a good dust jacket showing only slight staining towards the lower part of the front cover/spine, and itself protected by an undamaged plastic cover. The book itself is bound in green cloth with gilt lettering and a motif on the front, and title etc in gilt letters on the spine. There are no external signs of wear or use. Inside, the binding is firm with no loose pages; pages are rough cut; page tops gilt. There is some light spotting and browning, particularly of earlier pages, but most of the book is clean and bright. There are 155 B/W photographs, the frontispiece being protected by a tissue guard which is quite badly spotted. A particularly charming pencilled gift inscription dated 2003 is on the front fep.