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A Long Walk with Lord Conway: An Exploration of the Alps and an English Adventurer [Hardcover]

Simon Thompson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 15.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 July 2013
In 1894, Martin Conway became the first man to walk the Alps 'from end to end' when he completed a 1,000-mile journey from the Col de Tende in Italy to the summit of the Ankogel in Austria. On a midsummer's morning, nearly 120 years later, Simon Thompson followed in his footsteps, setting out to explore both the mountains and the man. A charming rogue who led a 'fantastically eventful' life, according to The Times, Conway was a climber and pioneering explorer of the Himalaya, Spitsbergen, the Andes and Patagonia; a serial pursuer of American heiresses; an historian, collector and Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge; a company director and stock market promoter of dubious gold mines and non-existent rubber forests; the founder of the Imperial War Museum; the first foreigner to see the Russian crown jewels after the revolution; a successful journalist and author of over thirty books; a liberal politician; and a conservative MP. Shortly before he died, he was created 1st Baron Conway of Allington. Conway was a clubbable man who counted Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, J. P. Morgan, John Ruskin, Mark Twain and Edward Whymper among his many friends and acquaintances. An imperialist, a dreamer, a liar and a cheat, Conway 'walked in sunshine all his life', according to contemporaries, but he was also a restless, discontented man, constantly searching for meaning and purpose in his life. And that search that led him back, time and time again, to the Alps. In A Long Walk with Lord Conway, Simon Thompson retraces Conway's long journey over the peaks, passes and glaciers of the Alps and rediscovers the life of a complex and remarkable English adventurer.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Signal Books Ltd (1 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908493801
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908493804
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 575,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A Long Walk with Lord Conway, an absorbing amalgam of travel, biography and history, will help to rehabilitate one of the more 'colourful late Victorian personalities'.' ----Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Simon Thompson is the author of Unjustifiable Risk? The Story of British Climbing, which was shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Prize in Britain and the Banff Prize for Mountain Literature in Canada.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars end of empire 8 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's often surprising to read about people's lives. Generally people read biography to know more about the life of the subject. A good biography also gives the reader an understanding about the personality too. It's also really good placing the personality and achievement into the context of the period in which that person lived.

Today Conway would possibly be thought of as a chancer and a sponger, but I suspect his behaviour might have been quite akin to his class at the later years of the British Empire. An interesating and diverse life, Thompson has done a great job telling this story. He has interwoven the story of one of Conway's earlier expeditions through the Alps and his own journey retracing his step, making comparisons between then and now.

A very enjoyable read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating and Entertaining Book 5 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
'A Long Walk with Lord Conway' is really two books: a biography of Martin Conway - adventurer, explorer, professor, politician, liar and cheat - and an account of a long mountaineering journey through the Alps, following in his footsteps. The blend of old and new, biography and travelogue, works well. Conway is a gift to the author's sardonic sense of humour. The choice of short quotations, left to speak for themselves, is masterly and parts of the book are very funny indeed. The travelogue sections are engagingly written with descriptions of the scenery and people met along the way, combined with interesting asides on topics ranging from global warming to the declining ambition of Lonely Planet guidebooks. 'In the footsteps of' biographies follow a fairly well-worn path, but 'Lord Conway' is highly entertaining, well-researched and very readable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read 20 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Well-written, well-researched, lively and entertaining, this is an informative and entertaining book which rattles along at a lively pace and encapsulates the best traditions of British travel writing.
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