His exploits in the 1930s confirm author W H Murray as a daring and innovative climber who regained the momentum of early Scottish mountaineering activity lost in the upheaval of the First World War. He has become known as Bill Murray, yet to my generation starting climbing in the 1950s he will always be W. H. Murray. This omnibus edition contains two classics from amongst the huge volume of mountaineering literature - `Mountaineering in Scotland', published in 1947 after Murray's return from the war, and `Undiscovered Scotland' published in 1951. W H Murray surpasses his contemporaries as a writer with a tremendous talent for thrilling his readers with action tales and delighting them with descriptions of mountain beauty and grandeur. His skill in capturing exactly and unerringly the full flavour of Scottish mountaineering, particularly in winter, sets these books apart in terms of impact - both are inspirational, and both influenced post-Second World War climbers.
All readers should revel in W H Murray's authoritative accounts as he relives experiences and reveals them as intensely alive, but when it comes to passionate prose and philosophizing they tend to be divided. He has been accused of romanticism and religious zeal by some critics, but to me as an aficionado he writes with sincerity and feeling. I applaud and respect W H Murray for his attempts to move on from captivating views of mountain landscapes or gripping accounts of climbing, to lead into compelling views or mesmerizing exposition on the meaning of life. In `Mountaineering in Scotland' he confirms his belief that "our understanding of mountains is broadened and deepened toward the understanding of all things created". Readers wishing to pursue this aspect further are directed to W H Murray's autobiography - `The Evidence of Things Not Seen', but for those satisfied with worldly matters there are 23 chapters in `Mountaineering in Scotland' and 22 chapters in `Undiscovered Scotland' - each a magnificent mountain commentary in its own right - this superb-value omnibus edition should continue to inspire and influence generations to come.