Sunday, January 10, 2010

BOOK: Travels in the Central Caucasus and Bashan: Including Visits to Ararat and Tabreez and Ascents of Kazbek and Elbruz. By Douglas W. Freshfield

Paperback: 546 pages
Publisher: Adamant Media Corporation (25 Dec 2000)
ISBN-10: 1402184484
ISBN-13: 978-1402184482

This Elibron Classics book is a facsimile reprint of a 1869 edition by Longmans, Green, and Co., London.


Douglas William Freshfield (April 27, 1845 – February 9, 1934) was a British lawyer, mountaineer and author, who edited the Alpine Journal from 1872 to 1880. He was an active member of the Royal Geographical Society and the Alpine Club and served as President of both organizations.

Born in London, Freshfield was the only son of Henry Ray Freshfield and his wife Jane Quinton Crawford. His father was a notable lawyer and member of the family firm of Freshfields and his mother was the daughter of William Crawford MP for the City of London (1833-1841), who had made a fortune in the East India Company. In an interview with Adolfo Hess, Freshfield recalls that his family loved to take long holidays in the summer of up to five weeks. He recalls that when he was 6, they visited Lodore Falls in the Lake District where he was disappointed that the waterfall was slowed due to a sandbank. The following year they travelled to Scotland. In 1854, they travelled to the Swiss Alps, going from Basel to Chamonix[1]. His father attached great importance to preserving open spaces for public enjoyment and was active in campaigns to save Hampstead Heath and Ashdown Forest.
Freshfield was educated at
Eton College, and University College, Oxford, where he obtained a degree in civil law and history. He was called to the bar in 1870.

Freshfield was a keen traveller and mountaineer. From his childhood acquired a deep love of the mountains and was particularly fond of the Alps. Hovever by his twenties, he was already venturing further afield. In 1868 he made an attempt on Elbrus with his Balkarian guide Akhia Sottaev, and although they failed to reach the higher Western summit, Freshfield was the first foreigner to reach the Eastern Summit.
Freshfield led an exploration of the
Caucasus and was the first man, officially, to conquer Kazbek with guides from the village Gergeti. He described the denuded territories of Abkhazia in a moving chapter on 'The Solitude of Abkhazia', in The Exploration of the Caucasus published in 1892.
In 1899 Douglas Freshfield travelled to Green Lakes accompanied by the Italian photographer
Vittorio Sella. He conducted expeditions around Kangchenjunga (Khangchendzonga) and set out with his party to trek in a circle around Kangchenjunga from the North. When he arrived safely in at Dzongri, he lit a big bonfire, which could be seen from Darjeeling and the Governor of Bengal ordered a Gun Salute to be fired in his honour. He also become the first mountaineer to examine the western face of Kangchenjunga, which rises from the Kanchenjunga Glacier. Freshfield described Siniolchu as “The Most Superb Triumph of Mountain Architecture and The Most Beautiful Snow Mountain in the World”.
In 1905 he attempted to climb
Rwenzori Abruzzi in Uganda but failed due to bad weather. However the Freshfield Pass on the mountain was named after him.

Freshfield wrote extensively about travel and the Alps, editing the Alpine Journal from 1872 to 1880. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and became its Joint Secretary in 1881. At that time he was living at Stanhope Gardens, and by 1891 at Camden Hill, Hampstead. He was president of the Alpine Club from 1893 to 1895, Chairman of the Society of Authors from 1908 to 1909, and President of the Association of Geographical Teachers from 1897 to 1910.
In 1904, he was President of the Geographical Section of the
British Association. He was awarded the Founder's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1903, became a Vice-President of the Society in 1906 and its President from 1914 until 1917. He became a Trustee of the RGS in 1924. University College, Oxford made him an Honorary Fellow, and he was awarded Honorary degrees of Doctor of Civil Laws at the University of Oxford and the University of Geneva

Travels in the Central Caucasus and Bashan including Visits to Ararat and Tabreez and Ascents of Kazbek and Elbruz, London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1869
Italian Alps: Sketches in the Mountains of Ticino, Lombardy, the Trentino, and Venetia, 1875, new ed. 1937
The Exploration of the Caucasus, London, Edward Arnold, 1896 'Round Kangchinjinga (Kangchenjunga)', Alpine Journal, Vol. XX, no. 149, August 1900
Round Kangchenjunga: A Narrative of Mountain Travel and Exploration, London, Edward Arnold, 1903. Dedicated to
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Hannibal Once More (1914)
The Life of Horace Benedict de Saussure (with the collaboration of F. Montagnier), London, Edward Arnold, 1920 Below the Snow Line, London, Constable and Co., 1923

Interview with D.W. Freshfield by Adolfo Hess (Italian)
Forest Row Village Hall History
Violet Needham Society

AmazonShop: Books, Maps, Videos, Music & Gifts About The Caucasus

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