Victorians who enjoyed traveller and showman Albert Smith's 'entertainment' about his ascent of Mont Blanc could also buy the sheet music and play the board game. Such 'Mont mania' merchandise is among the treasures in the Library's mountaineering collections, and highlighted in the latest edition of our newsletter, Quarto.
Smith's journey to and guided ascent of Mont Blanc and his talents as a humorous writer were combined to produce a popular account of his experiences, in the form of a recital with amusing sketches and songs. The show played to appreciative audiences for six years in the 1850s, and encouraged an interest in exploration that was growing at the time. Smith himself invented the parlour game 'The Ascent of Mont Blanc', which illustrated different stages of his journey to the top of the highest peak in the Alps.
19 September 2002