Writer, mountaineer and father of Virginia Woolf, Sir Leslie Stephen was born into a wealthy, upper class English family. He is known for his many writings and his mountain climbing exploits. He was the first mountaineer to conquer the Schreckhorn. One of his most famous accomplishments as a writer is the renowned Dictionary of National Biography. He discovered the mountains during a visit to Chamonix at the age of 25. He joined the Alpine Club in 1858 and soon became a spokesperson for mountain climbing. His book The Playground of Europe recounts his adventures in the Alps.
For years, the Alps served as an outlet for Sir Leslie Stephen, from where he could draw a source of constantly renewed energy that allowed him to face the difficulties of life. Tirelessly he climbed the most daunting and majestic peaks of the Swiss Alps. In the later years of life, Leslie had to content himself with gazing upon the high mounts that he had once conquered. He devoted his time to his daughter, Virginia Woolf, who became one of the most famous authors of the early twentieth century.