The Alps

A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond


An eventful ride over the high passes of the Alps in search of the disruptions they have created: cultural, linguistic, historical, religious — and even the Lard Line, whereby the pig fat used for cooking in one valley is replaced by olive oil in the next. Travel with a white-knuckle driver afraid of heights at the wheel of his rental muscle car.

New York Times

“exciting, turbocharged… O’Shea’s comprehensive, and intrepid journey…”
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Times Literary Supplement (UK)

“Here be dragons: A charmingly random history of the Alps”

Paris Update

“O’Shea has an inimitable talent for gracefully interweaving the account of his own travels with historical and literary information about the place he is in.”
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Ross King, best-selling author of Brunelleschi’s Dome

“I would follow Stephen O’Shea anywhere he travels, and this book is a real adventure, both geographically and intellectually—an eloquent and engaging exploration that shows how and why these dizzy peaks have for centuries been at the forefront of the European cultural imagination.”

Various Editions