Dan Richards - Climbing Days
Dan is the author of 'Climbing Days' - An exploration of the writing and climbing lives of his great great aunt and uncle - Dorothy Pilley and I. A. Richards
Dan Richards was born in Wales in 1982. He is co-author of Holloway with Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood, first published in 2012 as a limited run of 277 books was published in a general edition by Faber & Faber in 2013.
The Beechwood Airship Interviews (HarperCollins, 2015) took a journey into the head-spaces and workplaces of some of Britain’s most unique artists, craftsman and technicians.
Climbing Days, an exploration of the writing and climbing lives of Dan’s great-great-aunt and uncle – Dorothy Pilley & I.A. Richards – was published by Faber in June 2016.
Dan is Rough Trade Writer in Residence for 2016.
In Climbing Days, Dan Richards sets out on the trail of his great-great-aunt, Dorothy Pilley, a prominent and pioneering mountaineer of the early twentieth century. For years, Dorothy and her husband, I. A. Richards, remained mysterious to Dan, but the chance discovery of her 1935 memoir, Climbing Days, leads him on a journey. Perhaps, in the mountains, he can meet them halfway?
Following in the pair's footholds, Dan begins to travel and climb across Europe, using Dorothy's book as a guide. Learning the ropes in Wales and Scotland, scrambling in the Lake District, scaling summits in Spain and Switzerland, he closes in on the serrate pinnacle of Ivor and Dorothy's climbing lives, the mighty Dent Blanche in the high Alps of Valais.
What emerges is a beautiful portrait of a trailblazing woman, up to now lost to history - but also a book about that eternal question: why do people climb mountains?
'Climbing Days is a special book, not quite like anything I have ever read before, and a law unto itself.
It's a wayward, funny, warm, wandering, open, inspiring journey back into the lives of two remarkable people, and out into the remarkable landscapes they explored.
Climbing Days belongs in part to a rich comic tradition of mountain-writing which includes Bowman's 'The Ascent of Rum Doodle' and Eric Newby's 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush.'' (Robert Macfarlane)
'Climbing Days is the most enormous fun… Richards has something of Jerome K Jerome about him. It’s a miracle he lived to tell this tale and Climbing Days is a wonderful achievement. I will be intrigued to see where he takes us next.' (Katharine Norbury, Observer)
'[A] totally engaging and satisfying book on every level – as biography, memoir, travelogue and erudite meditation on the restlessness and indomitableness of the human spirit.' (Andy Childs, Caught By The River)'[A]n entertaining and absorbing account of past and present relationships forged amid extreme physical endeavour.' (The Sunday Times)'Sublime' (Alex Preston, Observer)
'[A] rich and illuminating portrait of a remarkable woman.' (The Scotsman)
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