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Photo of the Week: The Matterhorn

Jessica Fay and Thomas Owens

View of the Matterhorn (4,500m) from above St Luc in the Val d’Anniviers.

Wordsworth, Prelude, VI. 338-48 (1805 version).

When the third Summer brought its liberty
A Fellow Student and myself, he, too,
A mountaineer, together sallied forth
And, Staff in hand, on foot pursu’d our way
Towards the distant Alps. An open slight
Of college cares and study was the scheme,
Nor entertain’d without concern for those
To whom my worldly interests were dear:
But Nature then was sovereign in my heart,
And mighty forms seizing a youthful Fancy
Had given a charter to irregular hopes.

In the summer of 1790 William Wordsworth and Robert Jones trekked across the Alps for four months instead of revising for their Finals at Cambridge; in August 2012, Jessica Fay and Thomas Owens, two St John’s students writing doctorates on Wordsworth, cavalierly recreated the Swiss leg of this journey with a mule, courtesy of the St John’s College Alister Sutherland Award, a scholarship granted for the most imaginative expedition planned in high mountains over 3,000m.

Jessica Fay and Thomas Owens are reading for DPhils in English at St John’s College, Oxford.