[Vwoolf] Lily Bristow or Lily Briscoe?

Catherine W. Hollis hollisc at berkeley.edu
Mon May 11 18:02:42 EDT 2020

More on Lily Bristow from shelter-in-place:

Lily Bristow not only illustrated Alfred Mummery's book, as Stuart points
out, but she also climbed in the Alps with him. In 1893, she took a famous
picture of Mummery leading a crack on the Grépon -- which she also climbed,
carrying her photography equipment (photo below, by Lily Bristow, from the
Alpine Club Archives). Her letters describing this climb were later
published in the Alpine Journal 53 (1942): pp. 370-74 under the title "An
Easy Day for a Lady."

Although Leslie Stephen is (infamously) credited with originating the
phrase "an easy day for a lady", which he used in 1866 in his essay "The
Dangers of Mountaineering," this article (link below) also attributes the
phrase to Mummery, speaking of his climbs with Lily Bristow.

At one point Bristow's painting, 'A Windswept Track' was visible via google
images, but it seems to have been deleted (as Stuart notes, it was sold at
auction in 1991).

Elisa Kay Sparks first made the Bristow/Briscoe connection in a paper given
at the Woolfian Boundaries conference (2006). Every once in a while I sift
through these Lily Bristow sightings hoping to find the archival piece that
would definitively connect her to Lily Briscoe. We've got a lot of great
circumstantial evidence for the connection: art, photography, mountain
climbing, Leslie Stephen, and sexism ("women can't paint, women can't
climb"). But where is the smoking gun?!

Wishing everyone well,


[image: CAC-FA441MummeryonGreponCrackWM.jpg]

On Mon, May 11, 2020 at 1:04 AM Stuart N. Clarke via Vwoolf <
vwoolf at lists.osu.edu> wrote:

> See "Ladies on High; Victorian Women Mountaineers":
> http://vichist.blogspot.com/search?q=lily+bristow
> Lily Bristow studied at Art School in Bushey, where Hubert von Herkomer
> focused on watercolour painting, and photography as an art form.  She was
> an illustrator for the first edition of Albert Mummery's classic book ‘My
> Climbs in the Alps and Caucasus’, designed ecclesiastical embroideries in
> association with Miss Ann Macbeth of the Glasgow School of Art, and a
> water
> colour and pencil painting 'A Windswept Track' was in a sale of fine art
> in
> 1991.
> Lily Bristow:
> Born Emily Caroline Bristow in Brixton, London 1864. Eldest of 9 children.
> Father George Ledgard Bristow, London solicitor.
> Never married.
> Died Surrey 1935.
> See also: “Shackles of Convention: Women Mountaineers before 1914”, by Dr
> Malcolm Craig (2013):
> https://www.sigmapress.co.uk/product-page/shackles-of-convention
> Stuart
> (Day 55)
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> Vwoolf mailing list
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Catherine W. Hollis, PhD
Instructor, Fall Program for Freshmen
U.C. Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
hollisc at berkeley.edu
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