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Underground Symphony
  • Underground Symphony
  • Underground Symphony
  • Enjoy a free bookmark with your order

Underground Symphony


Underground Symphony by Philippe Crochet and Annie Guiraud

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Underground Symphony

Currently out of stock, but it is possible for us to order further copies depending on demand. Please contact us to express an interest, without obligation. It is not viable, given current importation rules following Brexit, to bring single copies into the UK, so without an indication of interest we do not know how large an order to make up. Please let us know  of your interest in this title.

Underground Symphony (Symphonie en Sous-Sol) by Philippe Crochet and Annie Guiraud is an incredible book, packed with award-winning photographs and text that will engage both cavers and the general public. This work is the culmination of a lifetime shooting cave photographs, by the French masters of the genre.

The book was reviewed in Descent (284); click the tab to read the full review.

Underground Symphony weighs almost 3kg and was published at 65 euros. Our price includes the cost of delivery by courier (see the note below) and the associated cost of arranging delivery of copies from France into the UK through the new border controls. Limited copies only are available.

We regret we are only offering this book with delivery by courier to a UK address.There may be an additional courier charge for some destinations, such as areas of Scotland or the Scottish Islands. This is a courier restriction. Royal Mail despatch is also available by arrangement, at cost (but which will be higher than courier charges). Arrangements may also be made for caver-post or personal pickup, in which case a deduction equivalent to courier charges will be made. In all cases, please contact us before placing an order (especially if you may be affected by carriage costs to your address).

Enjoy a free double-sided, laminated, caving-themed bookmark with your order.

We also have a single, damaged copy for sale at a reduced price
Product Details
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Data sheet

None issued as new
306mm x 306mm approx
New or used:
Book: new
380 colour
Publication date:
Stock no:
Reviewed in Descent (284)
Philippe Crochet & Annie Guiraud

Underground Symphony

Philippe CROCHET & Annie GUIRAUD

In Fine, Paris. 2021. 336pp,
380 colour photographs. Hardback, 306mm × 306mm. E65

ISBN 978-2-38203-057-8

IT is not often that a book, at first glance, can captivate your attention in the manner achieved by Underground Symphony. Then at second glance, it has the ability to mesmerise its reader yet further. This is a physically large, 35mm thick (and heavy, at over 2.8kg) volume from the French masters of cave photography, Philippe Crochet and Annie Guiraud. It is a remarkable fine art printing on top quality paper; the publisher specialises in producing books for museums and artists, and it shows.

    The couple should be well known to Descent readers, as their images have appeared on the cover and adorned showcase spreads in many editions (indeed, look no further than the back cover for one example). The award-winning collaboration of photographer Philippe and model Annie has created a wealth of underground photographs and here they present the best of their collection – a stunning 380 of them – divided into sections that, roughly, correspond to entrance areas, passages, water both serene and violent, formations as decorated caves and in close-up, ‘the unusual’, non-limestone caves and, finally, ‘fauna and fun’.

    Underground Symphony is intended for an international readership and is bilingual in French and English (the French title is Symphonie en Sous-Sol).  It has been published to coincide with the celebration of the International Year of Caves and Karst and carries prefaces by the UIS President George Veni, caver Jean-Marie Chauvet (who discovered Grotte Chauvet) and cave photographer Kevin Downey. What shines through from each, and is certainly true elsewhere, is the respect that is bestowed on Philippe and Annie.

    Each section opens with Annie’s text, then successive photo spreads carry sometimes extensive captions. At minimum, these provide the name of the cave and its location in a region of a country, while at maximum this can be a full explanation of how a passage or speleothem formed, a short history of when it was explored, and on occasion something of how the photograph was taken. This latter topic also has its own coverage, where fellow cave photographers will be interested in learning a little of the specific flash equipment used and the techniques involved. Elsewhere, simply delight in the vibrant colours of calcite shown in close-up and the amazing formations found in the hypogean, volcanic and limestone caves that have seen the couple’s visits.

    Underground Symphony is very much the ultimate coffee-table book, something ideal to show to non-cavers who simply ‘don’t get it’ – but who will after hypnotically turning these pages. For cavers, even beyond this, marvels await from some of the best known (and others almost totally unknown) caving destinations in the world that you will now lust after; this pair has indeed travelled widely across the continents.

    This will not be a low-cost addition to your caving library shelf, but it is easy to see why in this limited market the volume is priced as it is. For a taster, click here for 48 pages of the introductory text and photographic spreads that will surely convince you.

Chris Howes

Reviewed in
Descent (284), February 2022

Non-UK orders

If stock is available for all post destinations, selecting any set of options will allow you to place your order immediately.

If stock is limited, for example with a single copy of a second-hand book, it will be assigned to UK stock. If you require posting to an address outside the UK, selecting your options may not allow an order to be placed, even though stock is available. If this is the case, please contact us to enable the options you require.

Please see our FAQs relating to deliveries, and the Delivery page linked from the bottom of each page, before placing your order if time is an important element for your order.


We regret that due to the volatility of Royal Mail postage charges, we have been forced to remove the option for two-year subscriptions. We have also been forced to remove the option for economy mail to the EU, given indications that Royal Mail intends to remove this service.

All international mail is now being despatched in paper wrapping using Royal Mail customs and address labels mandated by them. We also regret this means we can no longer indicate the last issue of your subscription on the mailing sheet or supply a reminder to renew with the final edition. Please track your own subscription ending or check with us at any time. Subscriptions begun since September 2021 have a comment added in your account (under the tab for the order) which records the final issue to be supplied.


On 1 July 2021 the EU removed all exemptions for tax and customs duty on low value items posted from the UK to the EU, meaning that although VAT is 0% on books and magazines in the UK, it is charged within the EU and the VAT (potentially plus a handling fee) now apply to all orders to the EU.

Ideally, the VAT should be paid at the point of posting, but doing so requires registration with an agent to handle the payments, and this is incredibly expensive and not financially viable. To be clear, all small publishers in the UK are in the same position and we are unable to post any items to the EU with VAT or other duties paid.

Ordering any item from Wild Places, including a Descent subscription, requires that you accept responsibility of paying the VAT and any other local charges on delivery.

To be clear: Wild Places will NOT cover any charges levied by your country; it is your responsibility to accept these when placing an order.

We apologise for the situation, but it is outside our control. We will maintain a link from the left-hand column on the home page with the latest updates. If you are an existing subscriber to Descent and have not replied yet to our enquiries concerning your deliveries, please make contact.

NOTE: Subscribers in Norway or Switzerland (which are outside the EU) should place your order on the Subscription International page or contact us first.


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Underground Symphony

Underground Symphony by Philippe Crochet and Annie Guiraud

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