Celebrating Climbing Days by Dorothy Pilley – with Kassia St Clair and Dan Richards

11th July 2024 @ 7:30 pm – 9:15 pm
The Bookseller Crow
50 Westow St
London SE19 3AF
Jonathan Main
Being at the top of a great hill we are very apt to host an event celebrating Canongate’s republication of Dan Richards’ great grand aunt Dorothy Pilley’s much-loved, trailblazing memoir Climbing Days.
As part of Dan’s series of in-conversation events with brilliant women around the UK – some adventurers, some artists, some writers – who embody something of Dorothy’s buccaneering, transcendent spirit, join us when historian Kassia St Clair talks about Dorothy Pilley’s legacy with Dan.

Kassia St. Clair is based in London and is Britain’s bestselling historian under 40. Her first book, The Secret Lives of Colour, is a top-ten bestseller, was selected as Radio 4′s Book of the Week and has been translated into twenty languages. The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History was a Radio 4 Book of the Week, a Sunday Times Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Somerset Maugham Award. Her third book, The Race to the Future, is out now. Features, interviews, essays and reviews have appeared in the Economist, the Telegraph, Architectural Digest, the TLS and Wired; she had a colour column in Elle Decoration for seven years. You can see a selection of her published work on the journalism page.


Dan Richards is an acclaimed non-fiction writer specialising in art, travel and adventure. His first book, Holloway – co-authored with Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Stanley Donwood – was published by Faber and became a Sunday Times bestseller. Dan’s second book, The Beechwood Airship Interviews took a journey into the creative process, headspaces and workplaces of some of Britain’s celebrated artists and craftsman including Bill Drummond, Dame Judi Dench, Jenny Saville, Manic Street Preachers and Stewart Lee.

Climbing Days is an exploration of the writing and climbing lives of Dan’s great-great-aunt and uncle, Dorothy Pilley and I. A. Richards. Using Dorothy’s 1935 mountaineering memoir as a guide, Dan climbed across Europe, ending with an ascent of the mighty Dent Blanche in the high Alps of Valais.

His latest title is Outpost, a book about far-flung shelters and eyries, isolation and wilderness. Asking what draws people to the ends of the world, Outpost features visits to Cairngorm bothies, French lighthouses, Japanese shrines, Icelandic sæluhús, and hot air balloon odysseys in Svalbard.

Tickets £5 (includes a drink)