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Item #: OP001M-2892
ASCENT OF EVEREST 1st UK ed No DJ Very Good. SIGNED as Ed Hillary in 2007 2 copies available
By Hunt, John. Chapter on the final assault written by Edmund Hillary
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London, 1953, 1st UK edition. 300 pp, 48 plates. If you want to collect just one book signed by Ed Hillary, this is probably the one to have. The official account of the first ascent of Mount Everest; this is the first book written about the climb. Chapter 16 on the on final assault was written by Edmund Hillary. The book is in n Very Good condition, which is bookseller speak for their being some minor flaws in the book, such as being slightly worn, or their being a previous owner's bookplate or inscription in the book, and there is no  dust jacket. The signature is Fine. Multiple copies are available. 

SIGNED by Edmund Hillary, as Ed Hillary.
 
We met with Ed Hillary many times in the 1980s-2000s. Our last meeting was in August 2007, a few months before he died. He was still game to autograph books for us, and as you can see his signature had gotten a bit shaky. He signed these books for us on his kitchen table in his Auckland home, in the presence of his wife, June Hillary, and several New Zealand booksellers we are friends with. Multiple copies are available.
 
Below: This is a signature of Ed Hillary in August 2007:
 
 
 
 
 
 We personally obtained this signature in person in his home, in August 2007. The photo of Ed Hillary below was taken the same day as he signed our books and ice axes, on the rear deck of Ed's home. The ice axe he is holding is the axe that he used when he summited Everest in 1953. It is a European Axe, made by Simond or Charlet or Grivel (I forget which one), one of the major axe makers in Europe in the 1950s. This axe is now in display in the Auckland New Zealand Museum.  
 
 
By conquering Everest, the beekeeper and the Sherpa affirmed the power of humble determination -- and won one for underdogs everywhere On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first human beings to conquer Mount Everest -- Chomolungma, to its people -- at 29,028 ft. the highest place on earth.

By any rational standards, this was no big deal. Aircraft had long before flown over the summit, and within a few decades literally hundreds of other people from many nations would climb Everest too. And what is particularly remarkable, anyway, about getting to the top of a mountain? Geography was not furthered by the achievement, scientific progress was scarcely hastened, and nothing new was discovered. Yet the names of Hillary and Tenzing went instantly into all languages as the names of heroes, partly because they really were men of heroic mold but chiefly because they represented so compellingly the spirit of their time.

The world of the early 1950s was still a little punch-drunk from World War II, which had ended less than a decade before. Everything was changing. Great old powers were falling, virile new ones were rising, and the huge, poor mass of Asia and Africa was stirring into self-awareness. Hillary and Tenzing went to the Himalayas under the auspices of the British Empire, then recognizably in terminal decline.

The expedition was the British Everest Expedition, 1953, and it was led by Colonel John Hunt, the truest of true English gentlemen. It was proper to the historical moment that one of the two climbers immortalized by the event came from a remote former colony of the Crown and the other from a nation that had long served as a buffer state of the imperial Raj.

ABOUT JOHN HUNT:

John Hunt was born in India, and educated at Marlborough College and at Sandhurst. After a distinguished military career in India and Europe, he led the first successful expedition to climb Mount Everest and was knighted. He also led the British party in the British-Soviet Caucasian mountaineering expedition (1958), and was involved in mountaineering expeditions in western Europe, the Middle East, Himalayas, Greenland, Russia, Greece and Poland. From its inception in 1956, he was director of the Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme and was created a life peer for services to youth on his retirement in 1966. He then became chairman of the Parole Board of England and Wales (1967-1974) and the National Association of Probation Officers (1974-1980) and championed penal reform. He became a Knight of the Garter in 1979. His publications include The Ascent of Everest (1953), Red Snows, Our Everest Adventure, In Search of Adventure, and his autobiography, Life is Meeting.


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