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Item #: OP001A-5765
THE ASCENT OF EVEREST John Hunt 1953 1st UK ed Hardcover DJ Fine SIGNED by Edmund Hillary 3 copies available
By Hunt, John. With Sir Edmund Hillary
Price: $249.99


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Ed Hillary and Michael Chessler at our bookshop in 1990.

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. Nice DJ, Near Fine - Fine.


SIGNED by Edmund Hillary, as Ed Hillary
We personally obtained this signature in person in one of our several meetings with Edmund Hillary over the past twenty-five years. The photo above was taken in our bookshop around 1992.

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.



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