Mountains So Sublime

"Picturesque," "immense," "fantastic," and "sublime" are a few of the ways early British travellers described the landscape of the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding terrain. As part of a long tradition of British travellers' tales, these tourists - explorers, sportsmen, writers, scientists, artists, missionaries, and merchants - sought ways to describe the vastness and strangeness of the North American landscape to a British audience. Using their published and unpublished accounts as source material, Mountains So Sublime : Nineteenth-Century British Travellers and the Lure of the Rocky Mountain West, weaves their observations, their aesthetic, and their 'Britishness' into a unique view of a nearly vanished West. Attempting to make their West real to their readers, these travellers encouraged the growing realization that North American scenery was a unique aspect of the world's natural heritage. Many travellers also sought to convey the changes brought by an onrushing progress. The British were among those who cautioned against excessive human encroachment on the landscape, demonstrating what might be called "environmental pre-awareness." Today's readers will discover perhaps surprising parallels between modern environmental and conservation issues and the concerns expressed by these early travellers.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Mountains So Sublime 1
Title Page 3
Bibliographic Information 4
Contents 5
List of Illustrations 9
Preface 13
Acknowledgements 21
1: First View of the Rockies 25
2: British Travellers and Their Baggage 47
3: Literary Travellers 65
4: The Post-Picturesque Landscape 95
5: "This Sublime Chaos" The Rocky Mountain Wilderness 129
6: Anglo-American Attitudes 165
7: Lost Landscapes: British Travellers and the far West 193
Notes 205
Bibliography 233
Index 243