A Mountain Climber’s Dream: Vivienne de Watteville’s Mount Kenya

by Helen Palmer

On Christmas Day 1928, a young British woman arrived to live in a hut on the slopes of Mount Kenya. She had marched for two days to get there, through dense, animal-packed forest.  After unpacking her books and her wind-up gramophone, she settled down to Christmas dinner: a tin of Heinz spaghetti in tomato sauce, and plum pudding. Later, the strains of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony drifted out into the forest night.

Vivienne de Watteville would spend two months roaming the wild highlands of Mount Kenya. She had come there to seek solace in nature after an early life marked...

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