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28 January 1993
My Ascent of Mont Blanc 
by Henriette d’Angeville, translated by Jennifer Barnes.
HarperCollins, 132 pp., £17.99, December 1992, 0 00 215717 9
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Backwards to Britain 
by Jules Verne, translated by Janice Valls-Russell.
Chambers, 227 pp., £14.99, October 1992, 0 550 23000 9
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... It calls for a certain robustness of spirit to embark on an escapade which, with ill luck, could create six widows and 27 orphans. Such robustness was possessed by Mademoiselle Henriette d’Angeville, the first lady (repeat, lady) to climb Mont Blanc. She claims to have weighed the human odds beforehand, but it is hard to picture her with her six guides, on that bright September morning in 1838, ticking ...

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