The Indian Alps and How We Crossed Them. Being a Narrative of Two Years Residence in the Himalaya and Two Months Tour into the Interior. By A Lady Pioneer - Nina Elizabeth Mazuchelli 1876 - Longmans, London - First Edition A handsome volume of this enduring work on mountaineering, the enthusiastic and irrepressible narrative of Nina Elizabeth Mazuchelli who, together with her Army chaplain husband, Francis, and their friend ‘C’ (the District Officer) traversed the Nepal-Sikkim frontier along the Singalila Ridge – they almost reached the Tibetan border before a blizzard forced them to turn back. Despite their retreat, Mrs Mazuchelli was the first English woman to travel so far into the eastern Himalayas.

Profusely illustrated with 10 full page chromolithographic plates and numerous in-text drawings and sketches by the author, together with a folding map of Sikkim, the travelling party’s route marked in colour.
  Nina Elizabeth Mazuchelli (1832-1914) is either thoroughly exasperating or thoroughly admirable – it is difficult to decide which. The love affair began in India, when Nina and Francis Mazuchelli, a British army chaplain, were posted to Darjeeling after eleven years on the plains. As soon as she saw the summit of Kanchenjunga shimmering in the distance, she was lost. She managed to contain herself for eighteen months, and then, as time to return to England grew nearer, she made a ‘startling proposition’. She, Francis, and their friend ‘C’ (the District Officer), would become pioneers, and explore the glaciers of the Eastern Himalaya. Francis was obviously used to indulging his pretty wife’s rhapsodic whims, and before long they had engaged countless coolies to carry their equipment (which ranged from a china dinner-service to a collection of iron bedsteads) to the ‘nearest point of earth to heaven’. Nina, with sketch book in hand, was tucked daintily into a Barielly dandy (a sort of Bath chair slung on poles instead of wheels) – Mrs Syntax in search of the picturesque, ‘C’ called her – whilst he and Francis clopped along behind, wearing holiday hats and smoking their pipes. And off they went: ‘How romantic, how sweetly Arcadian’, sighed Mrs Mazuchelli.

The
ingénue––they were nearly killed, of course. As soon as the first blizzard arrived, half the porters fled and the other half burst into tears. The dandy-wallahs became snow-blind and started staggering and lurching their precious load from precipice to crevasse; the guide declared himself lost (they were well of the map by now); and soon all that was left of the food was a box of damp biscuits. As luck would have it, the coolies’ feet had been bleeding for most of the journey and they were able to retrace their own gory footsteps through the snow until they arrived at a village, which they promptly sacked – with C’s permission of course. So the Mazuchellis survived.

It was a farcical expedition––and Nina was the first to admit it, making her account an affectionate burlesque, with herself as a heroine of the old Impulsia Gushington school....’
– Wayward Women

References: Robinson, Wayward Women 53. Jill Neate, Mountaineering Literature M74.

Quarto, pp. xvi 612. Publisher’s decorative red cloth, black and gilt decorative border, gilt lettering and gilt block of a lady traveller being carried in a Barielly dandy, gilt titles to spine, black endpapers, all edges gilt. Re-backed with original spine re-laid.
  Condition: Very good, minor wear to cloth at corners, lightly rubbed at extremities, 1cm ink spot to rear cover, re-backed with original spine relaid, occasional offsetting from plates, light foxing to rear endpapers, small bookseller sticker to rear pastedown.   Ref: 107816   Price: HK$ 7,000