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Emily Hilda Young

(1880-1949), Novelist and mountaineer

Sitter in 8 portraits

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Emily Hilda Young, by Howard Coster - NPG x22902

Emily Hilda Young

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1932
NPG x22902

Emily Hilda Young, by Howard Coster - NPG x22903

Emily Hilda Young

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1932
NPG x22903

Emily Hilda Young, by Howard Coster - NPG x22904

Emily Hilda Young

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1932
NPG x22904

Emily Hilda Young, by Howard Coster - NPG x22905

Emily Hilda Young

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1932
NPG x22905

Emily Hilda Young, by Howard Coster - NPG x22908

Emily Hilda Young

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1932
NPG x22908

Emily Hilda Young, by Howard Coster - NPG x22909

Emily Hilda Young

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1932
NPG x22909

Web image not currently available

Emily Hilda Young

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1932
NPG x22906

Web image not currently available

Emily Hilda Young

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1932
NPG x22907

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Jennifer Mason

15 August 2019, 15:04

Emily Hilda Young, 21 March 1880 – 8 August 1949, author and mountaineer.

She born in Whitley Bay, Northumberland, the daughter of a shipbroker, and the sister of actress Gladys Young. In 1902, she married John Arthur Helton Daniell, a Bristol solicitor. The couple lived in Clifton, where she developed an interest in philosophy and became a supporter of the women's suffrage movement. During this time Young began a lifelong affair with Ralph Henderson, a schoolteacher and friend of her husband.

Young and Henderson also shared a love of mountaineering. She became a member of the Fell & Rock Climbing Club in 1911, and remained so until her death.

On 14 August 1915, she led Henderson, I. A. Richards and T. J. Roxborough on a pioneering route in Cwm Idwal, Snowdonia. Previously thought to be impregnable by experienced climbers such as O. G. Jones, Henderson later testified to her, "remarkable qualities of balance, speed, and leadership, and to her sound judgment of rock and route." Originally christened 'Minerva' (in honour of feminine endeavour) this popular route is now known as 'Hope.' It is possibly the first recorded example of a woman leading the first ascent of a climb in the UK.

Her husband was killed at Ypres in July 1917, and the following year she moved to London to live with Henderson and his wife.

Young was a founder member of the Pinnacle Club when it formed in 1921, though she climbed less frequently as her literary career flourished.

She wrote seven novels and two books for children. In 1930 her novel "Miss Mole" won the James Tait Black Award for fiction. After Henderson's retirement and the death of his wife, the couple moved to Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, where she lived until her death from lung cancer in 1949.

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