Written in 1816, Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem is crucial not just to an understanding of English Romanticism, says Ronald Turnbull - it also hints at how mountains came to matter to so many of us today. And it's not half bad either.
Thoroughly enjoying this series. This is not a criticism, but I can only assume the reason you didn't mention the story behind 'Frankenstein' is because you'll do another of these on 'History of a six weeks tour'.
Worth noting that MS has 'the creature' making the FA of the Eiger north face, so in a way Frankenstein qualifies as climbing literature too!
I thoroughly enjoyed this analysis. The more writing about the niche pursuit of climbing/mountain poetry the better! (I contributed a couple of articles on the subject to climber magazine a couple of years ago.) I'm interested that you place so much (tongue-in-cheek?) emphasis on Coleridge's 1802 descent of Broad Stand as marking the "invention" of fell-walking. Although Coleridge's account is a fine piece of writing, personally I don't think it's as powerful as Wordsworth's brilliant description of his earlier 1791 night-time ascent of Snowdon in Book XIII of the 1805 Prelude. And there's so much walking in the poem as a whole my feet ached at the end of it! Anyway, I very much look forward to the next article.
Thanks for the comments! Roberttaylor, the main reason I didn't go into Frankenstein etc is that these pieces are supposedly at 500 words... Yes, I do have 'Six Weeks' Tour on my list, but there's a lot of other things on there as well. The suggestion of Frankenstein as fellwalker is one to follow up on.
As for Coleridge - I did cover him a long way back, near the start of this series. [https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/literature/mountain_literature_class...]. My high opinion of him as fellwalker is based on his fell notebooks and letters as a whole: such as his night crossing of Helvellyn, and his verse painting of Moss Ghyll's waterfall. The series has also covered WW's Lake District guidebook, again a few years ago now. But yes, the Prelude can certainly count as a fellwalking poem, and Tintern Abbey is an account of a long-distance trail too.
I'd like to see your pieces from 'Climber' if you were able to forward them.
I'll send you photocopies of the climber articles if you pm me an address. David Simmonite (the Editor) did a very nice presentation job on them.