'The first of the few great Classics of South American Mountaineering Literature'
WHYMPER, Edward. Travels amongst the Great Andes of the Equator ... Second Edition [ --Supplementary Appendix to Travels amongst the Great Andes of the Equator]. London: R. & R. Clark for John Murray, 1892-1891.
8vo in 4s (226 x 160mm), together 2 volumes. Original olive-green cloth over bevelled boards, the upper boards with gilt borders, the spines lettered and decorated in gilt, lower boards with borders in blind, mid-brown coated endpapers, uncut, some quires in supplementary vol. unopened; pp. I: [2 (blank l.)], xxiv, [2 (fly-title, verso blank)], 456, [2 (blank l.)]; II: [2 (blank l.)], xxii, [2 (addenda, verso blank)], [2 (fly-title, verso blank)], 147; [1 (blank)], [2 (blank l.)]; wood-engraved frontispiece by Whymper after W.H. Overend, 43 wood-engraved plates and numerous illustrations in the text by Whymper after F. Barnard, A. Corbould, F. Dadd, W.L. Jones, Overend, P. Skelton, E. Wagner, E. Wilson, Joseph Wolf, et al., one wood-engraved map by Stanford's Geographical Establishment, one folding lithographic plan, one folding facsimile map by William Delahaye, and one large folding lithographic map by Stanford's Geographical Establishment loose as issued in pocket on lower pastedown of vol. I; extremities lightly rubbed and bumped, spines slightly faded, minor damage on front free endpaper of Travels, splitting and old repairs on upper hinge of supplementary volume, offsetting onto verso of loose map, otherwise a very good, clean set; provenance: Harrison and Sons, London (bookseller's ticket on upper pastedown of Travels) -- Thomas Somers Vernon Cocks (1850-1932, engraved bookplate on upper pastedown of Travels).
Second edition of Travels, first edition of the Supplementary Appendix. Long recognised as a classic of mountaineering literature, Travels amongst the Great Andes of the Equator was written by the mountaineer and wood-engraver Edward Whymper (1840-1911) and describes his travels in Equador in 1879 and 1880. Whymper and his companions 'twice climbed Chimborazo (20,498 feet), the highest mountain in Ecuador, and other peaks including Cotopaxi (19,613 feet), an active volcano. Whymper also surveyed the area and collected over 8000 zoological and botanical specimens. Often considered his magnum opus, Travels among the Great Andes of the Equator (1891-2) combines a popular account of his ascents with his detailed scientific observations [...] In 1892 Whymper received the patron's medal of the Royal Geographical Society. He also designed a new tent for his Ecuador journey that was widely used by mountaineers for many years' (ODNB). The Supplementary Appendix was the first volume to be published (in 1891), and Travels amongst the Great Andes of the Equator then followed in 1892; this set is comprised of the second edition of Travels amongst the Great Andes of the Equator, with the first edition of the Supplementary Appendix, although this volume is in a variant binding without the gilt vignette on the upper board of other copies, which suggests that this copy may be in a secondary binding.
The work is eulogised by Neate as 'The first of the few great classics of South American mountaineering literature, equalled only by books like De Agostini's Andes Patagonicos. It remains essential reading for anyone visiting Ecuador'. Similarly, Perret notes that 'ce livre est peu courant et recherché', judging that it was the first important book to be published on the Andes and that 'il demeure un ouvrage essentiel pour quiconque envisage de se rendre dans les Andes équatoriennes'.
NLS, Mountaineering t204 and t206 (special ed.); for the 1st ed., cf.: Neate W66; Perret 4559.