Gabriel Chevalley, René Dittert & Raymond Lambert
1953 Deluxe FIRST EDITION
SIGNED ON THE PRE-TITLE PAGE BY RAYMOND LAMBERT
This is the account of the two Swiss expeditions of 1952 that came close to snatching the first ascent of Everest before the British. Lambert & Tenzing climbed above 8000m. Raymond Lambert nearly reached the South Summit along with Tenzing on the pre-monsoon attempt and again climbed above the South Col on the post-monsoon expedition. These expeditions did cover new territory on Mt Everest and advance the route that eventually was climbed by the British 1953 expedition. The Swiss were the first to climb to the South Col and nearly to the South Summit.
This book is the original French-language edition of what was later translated to English as Forerunners To Everest. This book was published in 1953 by Arthaud in Paris. It is the deluxe version of the book bound in decorated cloth with the dustwrapper for the trade edition bound inside (by the publisher). The Paris trade edition was issued only in paperback (though a deluxe Swiss version was issued in hardcover). Any copies of this book signed by Lambert are rare, especially the deluxe hardcover issue. The numbered deluxe issue (not this item) was issued in paperback. As far as I know, only this version offered here was issued in hardcover (1500 copies not numbered -- see photo of the page facing the title page). This version was issued without a dust jacket. The book measures 215mm tall x 160mm, and has 310 pages + , 36 b/w photos, 2 maps (1 is a folding color map at end), 2 route diagrams, 3 appendices + journal extracts from the authors, photo parts of trade edition dustwrapper bound in at rear. Text in French. This, the original edition of the ground-breaking Swiss attempts on Everest, has 10 more photos than are in the English edition, several illustrations, a better map, and a splendid color photo-illustrated dust jacket that opens to show a large photo of Everest from the south.
CONDITION: Original decorated beige cloth with black lettering front & spine, original black coated EPs. The book has some rubbing lower front corner tips, some darkening to spine, minor soiling covers, no previous owner marks or writing on any pages (other than Lambert's signed inscription), tight binding, no foxing. Price: $850.
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