Women and Mountains: Female Travels and Writings on the Western Alps between Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
During the nineteenth century, several women increasingly travelled to the Alps. No longer passive presences or exceptional ramblers, they moved across regions deemed particularly suitable for performing manly values and empowering masculinity. Mostly exponents of the British upper-middle class, women revised their experiences and produced female mountain literature. While mainly echoing traditional male narrative models, women’s alpine writings presented a variety of comments, impressions, sensitivities and concerns, showing that female mountaineers were not merely subaltern companions but active contributors to the process of building the Alps during the golden age of modern mountaineering.
keywords: alpine literature, mountaineering, nineteenth century, western Alps, women’s writing