University of Hertfordshire

  • William Bainbridge
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Original languageEnglish
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Number of pages312
ISBN (Print)9789462987616
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameLandscape and Heritage Series
PublisherAUP

Abstract

Guided by the romantic compass of Byron, Ruskin, and Turner, Victorian travellers to the Dolomites sketched in the mountainous backdrop of Venice a cultural 'Petit Tour' of global significance. As they zigzagged across a debatable land between Italy and Austria, Victorians discovered a unique geography characterized by untrodden peaks and unfrequented valleys. The discovery of this landscape blended aesthetic, scientific, and cultural values utterly different from those engendered by the bombastic conquests of the Western Alps achieved during the 'Golden Age of Mountaineering'. Filtered through memories of the Venetian Grand Tour, their encounter with the Dolomites is revealed through a series of distinct cultural practices that paradigmatically define a 'Silver Age of Mountaineering'. These practices reveal a range of geographic concerns that are more ethnographic than imperialistic, more feminine than masculine, more artistic than sportive - rather than racing to summits, the Silver Age is about rambling, rather than conquering peaks, it is about sketching them in a fully articulated interaction with the Dolomite landscape.

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