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Behind Everest (ePub)

Ruth Mallory's Story - First British Expeditions

P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 20th Century P&S History > Explorers & Adventurers > Mount Everest P&S History > Social History Women of History World History > UK & Ireland

By Kate Nicholson
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 5.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 25 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781036115456
Published: 1st May 2024


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In Behind Everest, the author embarks on a captivating exploration that intertwines the remarkable life of Ruth Mallory, wife of legendary Everest climber George Mallory, with her own parallel journey a century later. As Kate delves into Ruth's life, a profound revelation emerges — the Mallorys' connection to the aftermath of the First World War and Ruth's unwavering commitment to the League of Nations. Ruth's role in this global organisation is a lens through which Kate examines the evolving attitudes towards universal experiences of risk and responsibility.

Using two decades of meticulous research, the author unveils the real story behind Ruth and George Mallory's marriage, shedding light on George's relationships with women such as Jelly d'Aranyi, Mary Ann O'Malley, and Stella Cobden-Sanderson. Stella, like Ruth, hailed from Arts and Crafts 'royalty', and both women were daughters of strong feminists. However, Ruth, uniquely, chose to climb, eventually becoming a founder member of the Pinnacle Club, the first all-female rock climbing club in the UK.

Kate's quest to understand Ruth takes her through archives, interviews with Ruth's friends and relatives, and private collections. It is a journey that leads her to the precise routes her husband climbed and, ultimately, those she climbed herself with the Pinnacle Club experts. As Kate experiences the challenges and triumphs of rock climbing, she discovers not only the elusive 'key' to George Mallory but also an inspiring and resilient companion in Ruth.

This book transcends the confines of Everest and 1924, offering readers a profound glimpse into the 'real' story of the Mallorys. Through Ruth's lens, the book explores the complexities of marriage, the indomitable spirit of early female climbers, and the enduring impact of historical events on individual lives. This is a non-fiction masterpiece that intertwines personal and historical narratives, inviting readers to scale the heights of human experience and resilience.

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About Kate Nicholson

Kate Nicholson is a historian, writer and has learned to rock climb in order to get perspective on Ruth’s life. Her husband climbed Everest by Mallory’s route when their three children were the same age as the Mallorys' children were in 1921 on his first attempt. Kate’s husband returned safely. George Mallory died on his third attempt. Kate began this project in an attempt to find out what Ruth did next.

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