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Item #: OP593B-1102
BOSWELL, THE BIOGRAPHER George Mallory 1912 1st UK ed Hardcover Near Fine to Fine 2 copies available
By Mallory, George
Price: $175.00


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Detailed Product Description
London, Smith Elder, 1912, 1st edition. 337 pp, ill. This copy is in its original cloth covered boards, and is in Near Fine condition.  The binding is tight, the edges are not worn, as often occurs, there is no foxing, no stains, overall appearance is Near Fine or Fine.

Besides his climbing, Mallory was a scholar. He wrote biography of James Boswell, himself a famous biographer. Boswell wrote a biography of Samuel Johnson, which is commonly said to be the greatest biography written in the English language. Samuel Johnson was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.

Twelve years before he died on Everest, George Mallory published his only book, a piece of literary criticism in the form of a biography and analysis of James Boswell, the famous biographer of Dr. Samuel Johnson. 
 
From The New York Times:
 
In October 1905 George Mallory went up to Magdalene College, Cambridge, to study history. Mallory and his tutor became close friends. Benson encouraged his protégé to work hard and to read, among other things, Boswell's Life of Johnson. This started Mallory's fascination with the 18th-century biographer of Samuel Johnson. The new undergraduate worked hard on his essays but frequently failed to finish them on time. He also rowed for his college but, despite throwing himself into all the work and recreation that was on offer, he was not particularly happy in his first year. When he compared Magdalene with his time at Winchester, he found Cambridge `shallow'.
 
Mallory enjoyed his final year at Cambridge, and in the spring the subject for the Member's Prize Essay was announced: it was to be on James Boswell. This was one of Mallory's favorite topics and he decided to enter the competition. In his essay he analyzed Boswell's character writing: 

''Herein lay the essence of his genius. The story of Boswell's life is the story of a struggle between influences and ambitions which led him towards the commonplace, and the rare qualities grafted deeply within him, which bore him steadily in an opposite direction.'' 

He concluded that, despite Boswell's formidable abilities, the biographer could very easily have slipped into a state of indifference had he not had the determination and aspiration to rise above mediocrity. Mallory's conclusions on Boswell are an interesting reflection on his own life and ambitions.
 
George Herbert Leigh Leigh-Mallory (1886-1924)

'I have never known a man so entirely dominated by the spirit within him.' E.F. Norton

George Mallory was considered to be one of the most talented climbers of his generation. He grew up in the Cheshire village of Mobberley and was educated at Winchester College, where he was introduced to Alpine climbing by his housemaster, Graham Irving. He went up to Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1905 to study history, and was later elected Captain of Boats for 1908. At university, his friends included such luminaries as Rupert Brook, James Strachey, and Maynard and Geoffrey Keynes. It was also at Cambridge that Mallory met a future climbing partner in the renowned mountaineer Geoffrey Winthrop Young.

Mallory left Cambridge in 1910 and took a teaching post at Charterhouse School, where his pupils included the poet Robert Graves. At about this time, Mallory completed a biography of James Boswell and fell in love with Ruth Turner. They were married in 1914 and had three children together. George's father had by then changed the family name to Leigh-Mallory, resulting in the rather cumbersome formation of Mallory's full name on the register. During the First World War, between 1916 and 1918, Mallory served on the Western Front as an artillery officer.

Having climbed extensively in Britain and the Alps, Mallory was invited to join the first Everest expedition in 1921 and was instrumental in the first reconnaissance the mountain. He returned to Everest in 1922 and spent much of the following year lecturing in Britain and the United States on the challenges met by the two expeditions. Once, when asked why he wanted to climb Everest, he is famously said to have replied: 'Because it is there'. In 1924, Mallory moved his young family to Cambridge, where he took an extra-mural teaching post. In February of that year, he left England with the third expedition to Everest, of which he was later made climbing leader.
 
George Mallory and Andrew Irvine never returned from their final attempt on the north side of Mount Everest on 8th June 1924. Whether or not they were the first to reach the summit of the world's tallest mountain, 29 years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, is still unknown.


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