Sketching Rambles or Nature in the Alps and Apennines. Illustrated by Twenty Views, from Sketches by the Authors.
Volume One (of two volumes). London, James Hogg and Sons, no year (c.1861). 14.5 cm x 21 cm. Frontispiece, XII, 374 pages. 10 illustrations, including colour frontispiece and 9 tinted lithographs. Hardcover [publisher’s original red cloth] with gilt lettering and design on spine and front board. Deckled edges. Good- condition with significant signs of external wear. Corners of boards rubbed and bumped. Soiling to front boards. Tears to valley between pastedowns and endpapers with cloth exposed. Binding still firm and strong. Dust-darkened edges. Very occasional signs of foxing only to an otherwise clean interior. Tissue guards with plates.
Includes, for example, the following: Lucerne, and the Lake of the Four Cantons / Swiss Villages / From Interlachen to Geneva / The Rheinthal and Pass of St. Bernardin / Animal Life in the Alps / Sketch of the Botany of Switzerland etc.
Narrative account of travels through Switzerland by the Catlow sisters. Breath-taking landscapes and mountain views are detailed for the readers’ enjoyment.
On finally coming upon Switzerland: “On this novel scene the evening sun was shedding a rich warm colour that rendered everything bright and gay, and the whole picture was framed by the blue distant mountains of the Black Forrest on the one hand, and those of the Jura on the other. It is probable that the feelings of intense satisfaction and enjoyment we experienced on being at length really in Switzerland, heightened our pleasure, and caused this our first view of its beauty, its rapid rivers, its mountains, its quaint old towns, and picturesque houses, to make an indelible impression on our minds; for though we have seen many more beautiful scenes, the feelings of that evening have never been effaced.” (p.2)
The Jungfrau at sunset as viewed from Interlachen: “The mountains rising near the house, the one rugged and barren, the other clothed with forests, were glowing at the summit with a brilliant fiery hue, their sides and the valley at their base lying in deep shadow: the Jungfrau, between these heights, was veiled in light vapoury clouds tinted with a rosy hue, and from the summit were emitted prismatic rays of the most brilliant and dazzling colours, as if a rainbow had been caught on the peaks, and broken into fragments to forma diadem for the maiden queen. Neither pen nor pencil can express the liquid brilliancy of the effect; it was like enchantment; and its evanescent nature added to the illusion, for in two minutes all was over, and the cold grey of twilight succeed, ere we had exhausted our notes of admiration. It had been a showery afternoon, and some peculiar combination of the vapour with the sloping rays of the setting sun, and the refracting power of the icy peaks, had called up this marvellous vision, which we never saw again.” (p.124)