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Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory
     

Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory

by Peter Gillman, Gillman, Leni Gillman (Joint Author)
 

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The discovery of George Mallory's body high on Everest on May 1, 1999, stunned the world. Yet behind the headlines, investigative journalists Peter and Leni Gillman sensed there was far more to the story than whether Mallory had reached the top. How did Mallory reconcile his love for his wife and children with his dream of summitting Everest? Why did he make his final

Overview

The discovery of George Mallory's body high on Everest on May 1, 1999, stunned the world. Yet behind the headlines, investigative journalists Peter and Leni Gillman sensed there was far more to the story than whether Mallory had reached the top. How did Mallory reconcile his love for his wife and children with his dream of summitting Everest? Why did he make his final attempt when he knew the odds were stacked against him? The Wildest Dream is an intimate portrait of a man torn between competing desires and the fatal choice he ultimately made.

Drawing on newly discovered documents and letters and aided by members of Mallory's family, the Gillmans reveal him as a versatile, complex, questing figure, who relished new experiences and took them to the limit. He was a socialist, an early campaigner for women's rights, and a clergyman's son who became an agnostic. A teacher and a writer, Mallory espoused the new movements in literature and the arts and consorted with London's avant-garde Bloomsbury set. He fell passionately in love with Ruth Turner, marrying her on the eve of the First World War. They had to endure the anguish of separation when he fought on the Western Front and suffered it again as Everest -- forbidding, remote, "the wildest dream" -- kept luring him back. The Wildest Dream bares the heart and soul of the man behind the myth.

Editorial Reviews

Outside Magazine
Much has been written about Mallory's mysterious end, but this graceful, meticulous biography should revive appreciation for his achievement as a philosopher of mountaineering, the man who wrote of one Alpine summit, Have we vanquished an enemy? None but ourselves.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Why did George Mallory, his 1924 expedition in treacherous straits, nevertheless make a last-ditch attempt to go for the summit of Mt. Everest--a 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 acme--a controversy intensified by the discovery of Mallory's body in 1999--they 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 Cahners Business Information.|
Booknews
Investigative reporter Peter and outdoor writer Leni, husband and wife, journeyed through Tibet, retracing the steps of Mallory's 1921 Everest reconnaissance expedition. They draw also on newly discovered letters and documents, and reminiscences of his children to explore the youthful radical socialist and teacher of Robert Graves, his entanglements with the Bloomsbury set, his homosexual infatuation,. and other aspects. They reveal the true identity of Stella, the mysterious women whose letter was in his pocket when his body was found high on Everest in May 1999. No one knows whether he made it to the top in 1924. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780898867510
Publisher:
Mountaineers Books, The
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
893,302
Product dimensions:
6.05(w) x 9.01(h) x 0.82(d)

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