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Mallory, Irvine and Everest (ePub)

The Last Step But One

P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 20th Century P&S History > Explorers & Adventurers > Mount Everest P&S History > Humanities > Biography & Memoirs P&S History > Social History

By Robert H Edwards
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 19.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 248
Illustrations: 40 colour illustrations, 60 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399034364
Published: 4th April 2024


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The last climb of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, towards the summit of Mount Everest on 8 June 1924, has been shrouded in mystery for a century. Were they the first humans to stand at the highest point in the world? The discovery of Mallory's body in 1999 did nothing to resolve the mystery. Until now, accounts of their climb have been driven by speculation and preconceived narrative.

In this book, which marks the 100th anniversary of the fateful climb, Dr Robert Edwards brings the fresh and original perspective of a mathematician to the story of Mallory and Irvine.

Dr Edwards has assembled the contemporary accounts of the early British expeditions, written by the climbers and their leaders, and has identified their anomalies and inconsistencies. He has studied the letters of George Mallory, and has held in his hand the diaries of Andrew Irvine. He has viewed, in person, some of the surviving artifacts: the ice axe found in 1933, and Mallory's boots, recovered in 1999. He has corresponded with modern mountaineers who have climbed Everest. Above all, he has applied mathematics and modern imaging and mapping technology to an analysis of what the 1924 climbers could, and could not, have seen and done.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The 1924 British Mount Everest expedition was intended to be the first expedition to achieve the goal of reaching the summit of mount Everest (8849 Metres) after previous attempts had failed. George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, were believed to have reached the summit, but disappeared, so speculation was rife. In 1999, an expedition discovered the body of Mallory at 8156 metres but this did not definitively determine if the summit had been reached by the pair. There was still no sign of Irvine

In this brilliantly researched and eloquently written book, Dr Edwards has compiled endless accounts of expeditions to the Summit of Everest, along with artifacts and the diary of Andrew Irvine. Using these along with mapping technology, imaging and mathematic calculations, can he come up with a definitive answer as to if the pair reached the summit?

A fantastically fascinating journey into the exploration of history and the blending of modern techniques to uncover the mysteries of the past. Very well written and utterly glorious.

NetGalley, Ink Reads

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The last climb of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, towards the summit of Mount Everest on 8 June 1924, has been shrouded in mystery for a century. Were they the first humans to stand at the highest point in the world? The discovery of Mallory's body in 1999 did nothing to resolve the mystery. Until now, accounts of their climb have been driven by speculation and preconceived narrative.

I’ve always been fascinated by this story. Something of the old pioneer/explorer in it really appeals so I was delighted to read this excellent book. It’s well researched and presented. It describes in detail just how Mallory prepared for the climbing of the highest mountain in the world. It also gives an insight on the man himself but, sadly it cannot answer the inevitable question. Did Mallory and Irvine reach the summit or not? It’s a great read however.

NetGalley, Steve Cripwell

I always enjoy books about those who conquer mountains. Here is an ambitious attempt to solve the mystery of the last climb on Mount Everest of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, on 8 June 1924. Mallory’s body was found in 1999 but it didn’t reveal whether or not he and Irvine made it to the summit.
On the 100th anniversary of the climb Dr Edwards, a mathematician, combines meticulous research with a scholarly approach to provide his assessment.

NetGalley, Gail Hanlon

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It was interesting to go on this path with the hikers and try to figure out what happened to the them. It really added to the suspense in this and the respect for this. Robert H Edwards has a great writing style and worked with the historical element.

NetGalley, Kathryn McLeer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Wow. If you want the most comprehensive study of George Mallory's 3rd and final climb up Mt. Everest, read this book!

The book Mallory, Irvine and Everest: The Last Step But One by Dr. Robert Edwards examines the mystery surrounding George Mallory and Andrew Irvine's 1924 attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

The book provides a fresh and original perspective on this historical event, as the author is a mathematician who has applied modern analysis techniques to the available evidence. Dr. Edwards has thoroughly researched the contemporary accounts, letters, and artifacts related to the climb and has identified inconsistencies in previous narratives.

NetGalley, Francis Tapon

I enjoyed this! I’ve read a fair bit about the Mallory expeditions so there wasn’t a ton of new data but there was some, particularly with additional details from the last few years. I found how he laid out all the expeditions and the information to be very different and it really helps call out what “is known” and what “is speculation”. I also loved the artist rendering of so many of the photographs and images. I’ve not seen that used before.

If you are new to a fascination about Mallory/Irvine and Everest or just looking for a new overview, this is the rare book that could cover both!

NetGalley, Jennifer Ruth

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have a lot of mountaineering books, and this has to rate as one of the best ones.

Meticulously researched and beautifully written Mr Edwards has gone to extreme lengths to detail what he thinks mathematically happened to Irvine and Mallory.

This is absolutely fascinating and will have pride of place on my bookshelf.

NetGalley, Jay Freer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I’ve grown up fascinated by mountains (this, perhaps, is inherited from my father, who happens to be a retired climber) and have held an obsession with Everest for as long as I can remember. Something I am not alone in.

Everest has held a long-standing fascination with people since its discovery in the late 1800s as the world’s tallest mountain, it's summit the highest place on earth. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay have been accredited with being the first climbers to reach its top in 1953 on the ninth British expedition to take place. But one question remains: were they really the first?

Several decades earlier, another British expedition took place in 1924, in which George Mallory and Andrew Irvine attempted to be the first people on earth to summit the great Mount Everest. As anyone with any mountaineering experience or knowledge knows, tragedy befell them both. But for exactly 100 years, the same questions remain. Did they make it to the top? Did they die on their ascent or descent? What clues remain on the mountain? Edwards seeks not to answer this categorically (for no one as of yet truly can) but to eliminate certain lines of inquiry and expose what was probable and improbable, therefore divulging what was likely to have happened.

Edwards’ research is extensive and meticulous, and it was fascinating to see so many details of that expedition revealed, from letters and photographs, to sketches and maps. The facts of the 1924 expedition are so vast that any text on the subject could easily become a tangled web, but Edwards’ narration is measured, factual, and straightforward. His lack of bias towards the events that might or might not have taken place is also refreshing. It is a great addition to companion pieces about Mallory and the great mystery of 1924.

All in all, this was a deeply fascinating read. For those interested in Everest, particularly the early expeditions, this book is a must read, for it only deals in facts, and they really do speak for themselves.

NetGalley, Sophie L

This book is a great read if you love history, especially adventure history. Mt. Everest has held a place in my heart for years and I love reading about the great climbers. If you love mountain lore, history, and how Everest impacted Mallory, Irvine, the British Empire, and everyone around it, you'll love this story.

NetGalley, Katherine McCrea

About Robert H Edwards

Robert Edwards is a mathematician, private pilot, actor, author and illustrator. He read mathematics at Cambridge University and earned his master's degree and doctorate at the London School of Economics. He has lived, worked and studied in Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and North America. He is the author of three books in the series "Great 20th Century Mysteries": the acclaimed D. B. Cooper and Flight 305 (2021), Voynich Reconsidered (2024), and this one.

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