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WILDEST DREAM: THE BIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE MALLORY Peter and Leni Gillman 2000 Hardcover DJ New Multiple Copies Available
By Gillman, Peter and Leni
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Seattle, 2000. 320 pp, b/w photos. New hardcover with dust jacket. Unsigned.

The most thorough Mallory biography. Covers his literary and artist associates, how his mind worked. His three Everest expeditions are probed, in light of who Mallory really was. New Hardcover with dust jacket. Remainder mark.

Winner of the Boardman Tasker Award.

George Mallory is a name that still resonates within the climbing community. You only have to ask anyone with an interest in climbing “Do you think he got to the top” and they will know whom you are talking about and will have an opinion as to whether he did.

There were probably few moments in mountaineering history as moving as when the bleached but almost intact body of Mallory was found on 1 May 1999 on Everest.

Mallory was without doubt an extraordinary man, an aesthete, a friend of the Bloomsbury set, a man who passed through a brief, or depending on your view of his motivation for taking Irvine to the summit, an extended or permanent homosexual phase. A socialist, a soldier, a brilliant but mercurial climber. A different kettle of fish to most of the modern breed of climbers. No one has come close to him for the pull his name still exerts.

What is the essence of that fascination? Many books have been written about Mallory, from the debunking to the hagiography. In the 2000 deservedly awarding-winning biography The Wildest Dream: Mallory His Life and Conflicting Passions, the Gillmans come closer than anyone in getting to the heart of the man. They were able to draw on an extensive collection of the Mallory’s letters, many previously unpublished and surviving members of the family helped them.

They give a true, well balanced portrait of a man whose whole life was driven and torn between compelling and competing desires. It is one of the few mountaineering books that you can thrust upon those with no interest in climbing and they will be enthralled.


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