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Collection of 1 typed and 3 autograph letters, signed, to John Bicknell Auden (London).

Collection of 1 typed and 3 autograph letters, signed, to John Bicknell Auden (London).
Shipton, Eric, 1907-1977.
Srinagar, [Kashmir] ; London ; Kashgar, [China], 1937-1946.

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Berg Coll m.b. Shipton to Auden, JB 1929Schwarzman Building - Berg Collection Room 320


Additional Authors
Auden, J. B., 1903-1991.
10 p. (on [8] leaves; 23x17 cm. - 33x20cm.
  • T.l.s., dictated, with autograph emendations Oct. 13, 1937, 2 leaves (3 p.), including pencil sketch of map (unidentified), from Srinagar: he and Michael [Spender] have just returned from an expedition, ill (“some queer fever”); sorry for Auden’s “bad time” at the Punmah Glacier (Karakoram Range, Himalaya Mountains), “but I expect it all very good fun and anyway heartiest congratulations on pulling it through successfully”; thanks him for the care with which he has labeled his photographs; regrets that Auden could not come with him and Spender [on their Shagskam expedition with Bill Tilman to explore and map the northern approaches to the Himalayan mountain peak K2] “because we ran into country simply stiff with fossils of all kinds. We brought back a few samples […].”
  • Jan. 20, 1939, a.l.s., 1 leaf (2 p.): advises Auden not to try and join him now because “you would have a job in crossing the Kashmir passes in mid-winter” and he, Shipton, would be difficult to find in any case; suggests Auden try to join him next October; has won a grant to work with Michael Spender on map of the 1935 Mt. Everest expedition; Spender has already left for Switzerland, where Shipton will soon join him; hopes that his climbing party this year (the Karakoram Survey Expedition) will include Auden (which it did).
  • A.l.s., Nov. 20, 1941, 2 leaves (4 p.), with postmarked envelope: recommends Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls; went on mountaineering expedition in September, west of Kashgar, and discusses the river systems and glaciers (“The climbing was first rate […] we finished off with a glorious hunk which provided the hardest climbing I have done for 10 years or more.”); feels guilty about enjoying himself so in the middle of the war; shooting game; Russians unfriendly; promising snowfalls.
  • A.l.s., Dec. 16, 1946, from Kashgar (China), on blue, government stationery, with royal coat of arms in black in upper left corner, 2 leaves (4 p.): previous year’s service in Hungary for the British military and in Vienna with U.N.R.R.A.; his son born Sep. 21, 1945; to India with his wife; political situation in India; Sherpa Tenzing Norday and brother Gyalzen; Ladakh reminds him of Tibet; bandits in Karakoram region; climbed with Gyalzen to the site (in Kashmir) of the Shyok Dam (“it’s amazing country”), i.e., the dam formed by glaciers across the Shyok River; Chong Kumdan glacier [in the lower slopes of the Karakoram range, but surrounded by high peaks] appears to be retreating; invites Auden and his wife for visit; is studying geology and would welcome Auden’s assistance; saw fellow mountaineer Bill Tilman in England (“He had an adventurous war parachuting into Albania and n Italy etc.”)
  • Eric Shipton (1907-1977) was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). His father, a tea planter, died before he was three years old; at age eight, his mother brought him to England to be educated. “In 1928 he went to Kenya as a coffee grower, and first climbed Nelion, a peak of Mount Kenya in 1929. […] Shipton was involved with most of the Mount Everest expeditions during the 1930s and later, including […] the 1935 Mt Everest expedition which was Shipton's first as leader and the first for Tenzing Norgay, and the pioneering 1951 expedition […]. Shipton and Tilman also discovered the access route to the Nanda Devi sanctuary through the Rishi Ganga gorge in 1934. Their shoe-string budget expedition operated in the Kumaon-Garhwal mountains continuously from pre-monsoon to post-monsoon, and set a record for single-expedition achievement that has never been equalled. […] The first western exploration of the Rolwaling Himal was made by Shipton in 1951 during the reconnaissance of Mount Everest. […] In that year Shipton and Dr Michael Ward took photographs of the footprints of what may have been the Yeti (Abominable Snowman), an ice axe being included in the photographs to show scale. Because of his belief in the efficacy of small expeditions as compared to military-style 'sieges', Eric Shipton was stepped down from the leadership of the 1953 Everest expedition, along with Andrew Croft, in favour of Major John Hunt—‘I leave London absolutely shattered’ he would write. Yet Shipton's quiet and spare climbing style, and his spirit of exploration, have kept alive the memory of this climber's climber in the world of mountaineering.”—From Wikipedia.
  • John Bicknell Auden (1903-1991) was a geologist and explorer, and one of two older brothers of poet W. H. Auden. "His exploration and mapping (with three other climbers) [of the] high Karakoram region of the Himalayas was the subject of Eric Shipton's Blank on the Map (1938). In 1940 he was elected president of the Geological Institute of Presidency College, Calcutta. In 1945-51, he was engaged in investigating all the major dam sites, hydro electric projects, irrigation works and water supply schemes of India. In 1960 he joined the World Health Organization, where he worked until 1970. After retiring he lived in London, where he served for two years as vice-president of the Geological Society of London." -- From Wikipedia.
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Call Number
Berg Coll m.b. Shipton to Auden, JB 1929
Shipton, Eric, 1907-1977.
Collection of 1 typed and 3 autograph letters, signed, to John Bicknell Auden (London).
Srinagar, [Kashmir] ; London ; Kashgar, [China], 1937-1946.
Restricted access; request permission in holding division.
Local Note
Formerly owned by Anita Money, born Anita Auden, one of John Bicknell Auden's two daughters.
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Added Author
Auden, J. B., 1903-1991. Addressee
Money, Anita. Former owner
Research Call Number
Berg Coll m.b. Shipton to Auden, JB 1929
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