Alps and Sanctuaries (1882)

First edition title page (BII ALP 1882.1)

Alps and Sanctuaries is a lively illustrated guide to the religious buildings and natural features of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino, around which Butler travelled during many years of his later adult life.

Butler dedicated the book to Italy, ‘as a thank-offering for the happiness she has afforded me’. As well as describing the many places he visited over the course of several summers, he weaves in his personal reflections on the people, religious attitudes and local artistic traditions he encountered. Reproductions of his own sketches and paintings are printed alongside the text. [To explore Butler's illustrations, see the online exhibition Samuel Butler and Italy.]

First edition cover

First edition cover, illustrated by Butler (BII ALP 1882.1)

‘It is a book that Wordsworth would have gloated over with delight, and taken as coming from the hands of a genuine disciple of nature’, as one contemporary reviewer put it.

Although the date of the first edition is given on the title page as 1882, the book was actually published in November 1881.

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