Troubador Triumph and Tragedy

Released: 01/08/2011

ISBN: 9781848765788

Format: Hardback

Review this Book

Author Website

Triumph and Tragedy

The Life of Edward Whymper


Triumph and Tragedy: the Life of Edward Whymper is an engrossing account of the extraordinary life of Edward Whymper (1840-1911), the best known but perhaps least understood mountain climber of the 19th century. Acclaimed as the first to scale the Matterhorn, Whymper personifies the spirited amateurism of the Golden Age of Mountaineering (1854-1865). Triumph and Tragedy accompanies a young but supremely confident Whymper on exhilarating ascents and narrow escapes amid beautiful, often dangerous Alpine peaks. The book lays bare the trauma of his companions’ deaths on the Matterhorn, and empathizes with him during the intense pressures of the accident’s aftermath. Emil Henry’s thoroughly researched biography then moves on to Whymper’s post-Matterhorn years. Following the publication of his classic Scrambles Amongst the Alps, Whymper travels first to Greenland’s unexplored interior and then to the high Andes mountains of South America where he becomes the first westerner to reach a 20,000 foot summit. In later life he is recognized as a noted explorer and the author of two best-selling books illustrated with drawings from a sketch-pad kept always in his shirt pocket. Triumph and Tragedy: the Life of Edward Whymper offers new and refreshing insights into the life of this notable Victorian personality. Spread throughout the book are examples of Whymper’s accomplishments as an author, artist, natural scientist, pioneering photographer, lecturer, and raconteur.

The Alpine Journal

American Alpine Association

Self Publishing Magazine

Commercial Appeal

Fell & Rock Climbing Club Journal

The Bookseller Spring Buyer's Guide, 2011

An excellent exploration of a well-known mountaineer. Well researched, well written and a credit to its author.

by Geoffrey Worthing

Emil Henry


Emil Henry, author of Triumph and Tragedy: the Life of Edward Whymper, learned a startling secret many years ago during a holiday weekend in Zermatt, Switzerland. The summit of the

Matterhorn , known in Whymper’s day as the “impossible mountain,” could be reached by a novice climber if led by a professional guide. Emil returned to the quaint Swiss village in August, 1984, and with guide Rickie Andenmatten confirmed the truth of what he had been told. In a Zermatt book shop he discovered Whymper through Scrambles Amongst the Alps, the mountaineer’s enduring memoir of his Alpine climbs.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee near the banks of the Mississippi River, a youthful Emil

Henry enjoyed woodland camping, canoeing, duck hunting, and fishing. In later years,

living and working as a lawyer in Washington, D. C., he hiked in the Blue Ridge

Mountains of Virginia and rode to foxhounds in their rolling green foothills. He rafted

the Colorado River’s swift waters through the Grand Canyon, and with children and

grandchildren rambled among the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

Henry served for three years as an officer in the U. S. Navy, graduated from Vanderbilt University’s law school, and as a lawyer became a devotee of the written word. After working in John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign, he was appointed by the new President to the Federal Communications Commission and served for three years as the agency’s Chairman. Following Joseph Campbell’s advice, he has blissfully devoted full time to writing since the late 1990s.

emil henry 2010
  • Buy as a printed
  • £17.99

  • 1 customer reviews
Also by Emil William Henry / Related Books