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The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory -- SIGNED By Author, Peter Gillman

Gillman, Peter / Gillman, Leni

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ISBN 10: 089886741X / ISBN 13: 9780898867411
Published by The Mountaineers Books, U.S.A., 2000
Condition: Good Hardcover
From gigabooks (Spokane, WA, U.S.A.)

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Hard Cover -- Good -- SIGNED by author -- Other than several pages with underlining/marginalia, book and dust jacket show only light wear -- 287 pages with index and sections of photography -- Stated First North American Edition with no prior printing and original price present. Bookseller Inventory # 315484

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George ...

Publisher: The Mountaineers Books, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

  • Chronicles all three of Mallory's Everest expeditions
  • Illuminates how Mallory reconciled his ambitions on Everest with his unquestioned love for his wife and family

Since the discovery in 1999 of George Mallory's body on Everest, controversy has raged over whether Mallory and Andrew Irvine could have summitted the mountain. Every detail of the climb has been dissected and Mallory's skill as a mountaineer has been hotly debated. Observing the debate, Peter and Leni Gillman felt that the essence of who Mallory was as an individual had been lost. In The Wildest Dream they offer the most comprehensive biography ever written about one of the twentieth century's most intriguing personalities.

Exploring Mallory's early years, the Gillman's take the reader to Cambridge and Bloomsbury where Mallory consorted with some of the most colorful literary and artistic figures of Edwardian England: Rupert Brooke, James and Lytton Strachey, Maynard and Geoffrey Keynes, and Duncan Grant, among others. The Wildest Dream moves on to examine exactly what Mallory accomplished as a climber, evaluating the quality of his routes and skills within the context of climbing in the early 1900s.

At the heart of this biography, and of Mallory's life, is his wife, Ruth. The letters they exchanged during the many separations caused by World War I and three Everest expeditions reveal the depth of their commitment to each other and the unwavering support and strength Ruth offered George. The Everest expeditions are also insightfully rendered, offering perspective on criticisms levied at Mallory after the 1921 and 1922 attempts. The authors examine how Mallory, a dedicated husband and father, arrived at his fateful decision to participate in the doomed 1924 expedition and why he continued to press for a summit attempt when the odds seemed stacked against him. As Mallory once declared, a climber was what he was, and this is what climbers did; this was how they fulfilled their wildest dreams.

Review:

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

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