In 1894, Martin Conway became the first man to walk the Alps 'from end to end' when he completed a 1,000-mile journey from the Col de Tende in Italy to the summit of the Ankogel in Austria. On a midsummer's morning, nearly 120 years later, Simon Thompson followed in his footsteps, setting out to explore both the mountains and the man. A charming rogue who led a 'fantastically eventful' life, according to The Times, Conway was a climber and pioneering explorer of the Himalaya, Spitsbergen, the Andes and Patagonia; a serial pursuer of American heiresses; an historian, collector and Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge; a company director and stock market promoter of dubious gold mines and non-existent rubber forests; the founder of the Imperial War Museum; the first foreigner to see the Russian crown jewels after the revolution; a successful journalist and author of over thirty books; a liberal politician; and a conservative MP. Shortly before he died, he was created 1st Baron Conway of Allington. Conway was a clubbable man who counted Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, J. P.Morgan, John Ruskin, Mark Twain and Edward Whymper among his many friends and acquaintances. An imperialist, a dreamer, a liar and a cheat, Conway 'walked in sunshine all his life', according to contemporaries, but he was also a restless, discontented man, constantly searching for meaning and purpose in his life. And that search that led him back, time and time again, to the Alps. In A Long Walk with Lord Conway, Simon Thompson retraces Conway's long journey over the peaks, passes and glaciers of the Alps and rediscovers the life of a complex and remarkable English adventurer.
A Long Walk with Lord Conway
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