After three volumes in his prize-winning valley portraits, Bill Birkett turns his gaze to the highest and most powerful group of mountains in England. Glimpsed from afar, Scafell presents an impressive wave of naked rock, sharp ridge and steep crag, soaring above hanging coves and deep valleys. Rise to these heights and you are walking on the roof of England. In 1802 Coleridge rested from his daring exploits at the summit to write 'surely the first Letter ever written from the top of Sca' Fell!' Wordsworth's Guide to the Lakes was a bestseller in 1810, and the first recorded rock climb on Scafell - Broadstand, by Edward Birkett of Keswick - took place five years later. By the mid 19th century, the railways were opening up this remote region to lovers of the romantic and sublime. Intrepid travellers set out to explore it on foot and horseback. In the 1880s the Keswick-based Abraham Brothers began their superb series of black-and-white photographic portraits, which have had an unparalleled influence on perceptions of the English landscape. Bill Birkett's portrait takes us into the heart of the Scafell range, offering a unique view of the moods of the mountain.
Frances Lincoln (Adult)
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