La saveur des Alpes : les Britanniques d'hier et d'aujourd'hui en Haute Savoie
Geoffroy, Christine (2008), La saveur des Alpes : les Britanniques d'hier et d'aujourd'hui en Haute Savoie, Anglophonia, French Journal of English Studies, 23
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameAnglophonia, French Journal of English Studies
Presses Universitaires du Mirail
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Abstract (EN)The Golden Age of mountaineering in the Alps is most often remembered in terms of conquest and physical exploit, and associated with the somewhat arrogant appropriation of the alpine mountain range as a would-be favourite British “playground”. This paper proposes a reading of the writings of two British alpinists of the time, Leslie Stephen and Alfred Wills, showing that the motive for their presence in the mountain was not only a sportive one but derived from a special link that they had formed with the alpine scenery. Their regular immersion in this landscape, their need for co-presence with the mountain, are evidence of a deeper link with the place and its inhabitants, whether with the guides who accompanied them or with the artists – some of them rope companions themselves, such as the painter and alpinist Gabriel Loppé – who used to settle in the region in the summer. The private collection of letters sent or received by Alfred Wills between 1850 and 1880 brings additional evidence to this perspective. Finally as British migration to the valley of Chamonix has reached record figures in the last few years, we cannot but question the persistence of this relation to the mountain among some of these new seasonal or permanent residents, met in the course of a survey conducted in the area between 2004 and 2006.
Subjects / KeywordsArtistes; Alpinistes; interactions culturelles
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