Killing Dragons by Fergus Fleming
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Killing Dragons
By Fergus Fleming

Killing Dragons

The Conquest of the Alps New edition

By (author) See other recent books by Fergus Fleming
Format: Paperback

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Killing Dragons by Fergus Fleming

Book Description

Full of eccentric characters, "Killing Dragons" is the story of the first British mountaineers to tackle the Alpine summits of Switzerland during the late 18th century. Originally the explorers of this area were poorly equipped, wearing ordinary shoes and no protective clothing. The British arrived intent on reaching every Alpine summit, and "mountaineering" was born. The title refers to the legend of dragons inhabiting these peaks: "here be dragons", quoted the old maps.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781862074538
ISBN-10: 1862074534
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 130mm x mm)
Pages: 400
Imprint: Granta Books
Publisher: Granta Books
Publish Date: 22-Aug-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Fergus Fleming

Farthest North by Fergus Fleming Farthest North, Paperback (January 2017)

Only available edition of this exploration classic. In 1893 Fridtjof Nansen set sail for the North Pole in the Fram, a ship specially designed to be frozen into the polar ice cap, withstand its crushing pressures and drift to the North Pole as a scientific experiment to prove that the polar cap was a sheet of ice floating on the oceans.

Stone Age Sentinel by Fergus Fleming Stone Age Sentinel, Hardback (December 2016)

Read all about The Stone Age in this accessible and amusing history book, cunningly disguised as a tabloid newspaper. Covering a mere four million years, it's packed full of facts about what Stone Age people ate, did, wore and where they lived.

Greek Gazette by Fergus Fleming Greek Gazette, Hardback (November 2016)

Marathon Man in Drop-Dead Dash, Nude Scientist in Bathtub Sensation, Persians on the Carpet - read all about it in The Greek Gazette. Written in the style of a tabloid newspaper, this chuckle-a-minute chariot ride through all the phacts, phun and philosophy of Ancient Greece is packed with fascinating information.

Viking Invader by Fergus Fleming Viking Invader, Hardback (November 2016)

A fresh and lively look at history written like a tabloid newspaper, packed with long-ship laughs, ferocious facial hair and thirty-two axe-sharp pages of sensational stories. There's a fair smattering of Viking facts and information too, plus a few unfortunate bloodstains...

» View all books by Fergus Fleming


UK Kirkus Review » So feared by the valley dwellers that they couldn't even bring themselves to give the peaks a name - 'alp' was merely their word for a high pasture - Europe's mightiest mountains were a terrifying enigma until the late 18th century. Only then did scientists begin dragging their barometers up the glaciers and ice walls, still half-expecting to confront the dragons said to inhabit those lonely, hostile summits. In their wake came the adventurers, and as the author of Barrow's Boys, an account of 19th century British Polar exploration, Fleming again demonstrates an indulgent fondness for those who blundered cheerfully into the unknown, unprepared and ill-equipped, fuelled only by what one Victorian critic called 'an unhealthy craving for excitement'. Swiss professors hosting balls on the glacier; whistling Englishmen in cricket flannels and 'light boating attire' hauling crates of champagne up sheer rock faces; aunts and nephews taking their dog for a walk that got out of hand - Fleming's glee as he runs through an improbable cast list is infectious. No less involving is the breathless relish with which he describes the increasing recklessness of the ascents, as a genuine spirit of enquiry dissolved into frenzied, nationalistic peak-bagging. Scores of Englishmen toppled off the Matterhorn or were pulped by avalanches, their awful deaths inspiring a spin-off contest as pioneering glaciologists competed to predict when the ice rivers would disgorge those eerily well-preserved remains. 'You have made racecourses of the cathedrals of the earth,' wailed Ruskin, but few listened. In a final burst of suicidal patriotism, a dozen of Jitler's lemmings sacrificed themselves aiming for the Alps' last prize, the Elger's north face. A rare combination of impeccable research and page-turning effervescence, Fleming's account of the nonchalant eccentrics who crossed Europe's final frontier is an appropriate triumph of swashbuckling understatement. Reviewed by Tim Moore. Editor's note: Tim Moore is the author of Frost on my Moustache (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Fergus Fleming

Fergus Fleming is a freelance writer living in London W8 and Gloucestershire. Educated at Oxford University and City University, London, he trained as an accountant and barrister and has worked as a furniture maker. Fergus is also the author of Amaryllis, a portrait of his aunt, and of several children's books. His recent non-fiction book Barrow's Boys, is published by Granta Books.

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Recent books by Fergus Fleming close
Farthest North by Fergus Fleming
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Viking Invader by Fergus Fleming
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Killing Dragons by Fergus Fleming
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Viking Invader by Fergus Fleming
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