Account of the Ascent of the Peter Both Mountain, Mauritius, on the 7th of September, 1832.

TAYLOR Lieut. Aurthur (1865.)


[With] SWINNY(Lieut). "View of Peterbot from the Moka side"; [and] "Ascent on the peak of Peterbot on the 24st may 1848". [With][SWINNY] (Lieut). Ascent of Peterbot, Island of Mauritius. [With] [ANON.] The Ascent of Pieterboth Mountain.Autograph manuscript, 2 uncoloured lithographs, a broadside & printed book, this with six mounted photographs. 4to, 19½" by 12½", folio, 12mo. Ms: brown paper wrappers; printed book: half morocco, gilt, marbled boards, small tear to lower board, with leaf from ILN 4 Feb, 1865. 17; 15pp. Mauritius, 1832, 1848 &

A noteworthy collection of items documenting and illustrating attempts to climb Pieter Both, an unusually shaped mountain located near Port-Louis in Mauritius. Included are several interesting and quite rare Mauritius imprints. The earliest item is the autograph manuscript by Lieut. Arthur Taylor, which is written in letter format, and details Taylor's climb, the first British expedition to successfully reach the top (a French group led by Claude Peuthé is thought to have scaled the peak in 1790). The party, which had suffered an unsuccessful attempt the previous year, included Taylor, Captain Lloyd, Lieutenant Phillpots and The Hon. Thomas Keppel. Taylor's account, which includes a small sketch of the 'head' of the mountain, lists previous attempts, doubting the veracity of the French attempt in 1790, and recounts the difficulty of the climb, particularly a long sheer cliff face passable only by a narrow ledge. When the summit was reached in the afternoon, the party celebrated with a bottle of wine and spent the night on the mountain with brandy and cigars.

The two lithographic plates, which are titled in both French and English were drawn by Lieutenant Swinny in situ, and lithographed by V. Devreaux in Port Louis. With these is a broadsheet printed in Port Louis on the 15th June 1848, which recounts the second successful ascent of the mountain by an English party led by Swinny, sixteen years after Taylor.

The third and final item The Ascent of Pieterboth Mountain was published in Mauritius by E. Dupuy and P. Dubois - it is undated and without author. The book contains the first photographic record of a Peterboth climb, shot during an expedition by Captain Johnston and Mr. Symons of the 2/24th Regiment and others. Although accompanied by Mr. B. Greene "who had with him a camera anad everything requisite to take photographic views," the weather did not permit him to do so. The photographs were taken a few days later by Mr. G. Burgman who was able to ascend the mountain on a fine day. The photographs include the "head" of the mountain, the ascent of the "Ladder Rock" and a view of Port Louis. The inscription present on the paste-down front endpaper testifies to the difficulty of the climb: "I tried to climb the Pieterboth in 1865 with a party from the troop ship Tam[ar]. Owing to a heavy fog when near the top the ascent failed. P.H. Leith 11th regiment."

Accompanying the latter item is a newspaper leaf from The Illustrated London News of February 4, 1865, which includes the text of this item as an article entitled the "Ascent of the Peter Botte Mountain, in the Mauritius" and three wood engravings based on Burgman's photographs. Toussaint, A617, A783.

Stock Code: 196216

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