March 8th Front Range Book Club:
Jim Moss writes in about the March book selection:
Let’s do The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory by Peter Gillman and Leni Gillman
From Amazon Reviews:
In 1924, a 37-year-old English schoolmaster and war veteran named George Mallory bid farewell to his beloved wife and children and went off to Tibet, where he intended to climb the north face of Mount Everest, a feat that had never been achieved. He was warned that the approach might not be attainable–and that, in any event, humans might not be able to survive at such altitudes without oxygen. But in that fine British spirit of dauntlessness, Mallory pressed on all the same, and he and his novice companion Andrew Irvine did not survive.
When Mallory’s frozen body was found on the high slopes of Everest in 1999, it touched off a wave of interest in the question of whether he had reached the top before falling to his death–which, if so, would unseat Edmund Hillary‘s 1953 expedition as the first to summit. Peter and Leni Gillman, themselves mountaineers, hint that he did, drawing on evidence that is at best circumstantial but compelling all the same. Their interest in this biography, however, is to provide a more complete picture of Mallory as a man of his time, who was a familiar among the Bloomsbury set of writers, a loving husband and father, an accomplished scholar and teacher, and a modest hero who, though not technically the best climber of his time, never refused a challenge. The Gillmans acquit themselves in this task very well, and they offer a fascinating reconstruction of what they imagine to be Mallory’s last moments on earth. Their book makes a fine companion to Conrad Anker and David Roberts’s The Lost Explorer and David Breashears and Audrey Salkeld’s Last Climb. –Gregory McNamee –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Why did George Mallory, his 1924 expedition in treacherous straits, nevertheless make a last-ditch attempt to go for the summit of Mt. EverestAa decision that cost the lives of this seasoned climber and his young climbing partner, Andrew Irvine? To the Gillmans, British journalists and mountaineers who together retraced Mallory’s 1921 reconnaissance expedition, the answer is plain: he hoped to resolve the conflict at the core of his marriage, to obviate the need for further expeditions and further separations from his beloved wife, Ruth. This vivid, illustrated biography is both a moving tribute to Mallory and a fresh reappraisal of the man and the legends surrounding him. While the authors take no position on whether or not Mallory and Irvine reached Everest’s acmeAa controversy intensified by the discovery of Mallory’s body in 1999Athey provide a useful summary of the ongoing debate. Drawing liberally on letters between Mallory and his wife, the Gillmans chart the highs and lows of a marriage strained by his periodic absences. While mountain climbing was for decades an imperialist’s sport, Mallory did not fit the mold. A rector’s son, he became a Fabian socialist and agnostic at Cambridge, making friends with poet Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves and Bloomsbury painter Duncan Grant, and indulging in a brief homosexual affair. Mallory’s literary output includes a study of Boswell and an intense love sonnet to fianc?e Ruth. Among the spate of recent books on Mallory’s Everest expeditions, this biography stands out for its well-rounded, sensitive portrait of a restless, thoughtful adventurer. Photos. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Come prepared in March to pick books to read!
Comments are closed.