Hard Cover. London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1967. 1st Edition. Near Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing. Personal copy of mountaineer George Lowe, with his bookplate affixed to the front pastedown. Inscribed to Lowe by his sister Betty: "George / from / Betty + Lester /1969." Publisher's blue cloth, lettered in gilt; in the original pictorial dust jacket illustrated with a photograph of Brown in front of the Mustagh Tower by Ian McNaught Davis, lettered in white and black. Book about fine, with some minor wear to the extremities, bookseller's plate to the front pastedown, else bright and clean; price-clipped dust jacket, with some minor creasing to the extremities, some faint soiling to the otherwise fresh panels. Overall, a near fine and pleasing copy. The Hard Years is the autobiography of English mountaineer Joe Brown, who was widely considered one of Britain's best climbers in the mid-20th century and accordingly nicknamed "the human fly." Along with George Band, Brown was the first to ascend Kangchenjunga, the world's third tallest mountain. In addition to his climbing feats in the Alps, Himalayas, and Snowdonia, Brown is notable for improving alpine safety equipment and being among the first distinguished mountaineers to come from a working-class background (the sport was dominated by upper class prior to WWII).