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Fearless on Everest: The Quest for Sandy Irvine Hardcover – 16 Nov 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (16 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297646826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297646822
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julie Summers was born in Liverpool but grew up in Cheshire. Her first book, Fearless on Everest, published in 2000, was a biography of her great uncle, Sandy Irvine, who died on Everest with Mallory in 1924. Her grandfather, Philip Toosey, was the man behind the Bridge on the River Kwai and her biography of him appeared in 2005. Fascinated by how people cope with extreme situations, she has turned her attention on the effect of the Second World war on non-combatants - the women and children. Recently she published Jambusters, the story of the WI in wartime.

She describes herself as a biographer and historian but the most important thing for her is to be a story teller.

Product Description

Book Description

The untold story of Irvine, the brilliant young climber on the 1924 Everest expedition and the mystery of whether he and George Leigh-Mallory reached the summit.

About the Author

Julie Summers is an exhibition organiser

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Dec 2000
Format: Hardcover
The unearthing of new information about Mallory & Irvine seems never to end. Eight years after their death, expedition members of 1933 retracing their route discovered Irvine's ice ax marking the point of a fall. In 1980, the Japanese Alpine Club announce the discovery five years earlier of "an English dead" at 8200m on Everest's North Face. In 1979 Irvine's diary-"discovered" first in 1962--was published privately in a spare book of the same name edited by Herbert Carr. In 1984, Audrey Salkeld discovered a large, hidden cache of Mallory's letters for our book, "The Mystery of Mallory & Irvine." Recently, Peter and Leni Gillman dug even deeper and were finally able in their book "The Wildest Dream" to pierce the veil of Mallory's jumbled private life that we could only hint at. Then, incredibly, Mallory's body was discovered below the site of the ice ax. Other than the climbers' fabled camera, only Andrew Irvine remained essentially unknown, his diary offering only a self-effacing (and edited) glimpse of the man through his own eyes.
Julie Summer knew there had to be more. She searched for and finally discovered a trove of hitherto unknown information about Mallory's 22-year-old climbing partner, Andrew Comyn Irvine-"Sandy" to his friends-complimenting perfectly the detailed picture of Mallory painted by the Gillmanns. It is always unbelievable when the heroes of our Pantheon are described as having inhumanly spotless lives. Thank goodness the Gillmans, and now Julie Summers, are able to show the human side of their subject. Sandy, it is revealed, had a torrid affair with Marjory Summers, the 25-year old step-mother of his best friend. A strong clue to their intensely passionate involvement can be seen clearly in the full page photograph of the couple.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By on 7 Dec 2000
Format: Hardcover
It didn't seem possible that any more information would emerge about the lives - and deaths - of the British 1920s Everest heroes, particularly given the plethora of books about George Mallory, following the discovery of his body high on the North Face last year. But Julie Steele has written a beautiful new book about Sandy Irvine, bringing to life Mallory's partner who died with him in their final, fateful attempt on Everest in June 1924.
Until now Irvine has been seen as Mallory's sidekick, a historical cypher faithfully following in Mallory's footsteps. But, with great skill and enthusiasm, Julie Summers - Irvine's great-niece - has brought him to life and given him a character and an existence of his own.
Irvine, an Oxford undergraduate, just 22 when he died, is revealed as a richly complex character, unable to express himself too well in words, but a dedicated sportsman who rowed for Oxford, a better climber than previously given credit for, and a gifted and visionary engineer and photographer who relished the great adventure of tackling Everest.
He was a resolute strategist too, playing a long game, singling out Mallory as the man who was most likely to get him to the top. Julie Summers tells her story with vivacity and pace, piling on fresh detail after detail to give her narrative momentum and authenticity. Like all good researchers, she suspected when she embarked on her project that there was more to find - and lo and behold, was rewarded for her tenacity when, in an attic in a family home in North Wales, she came across a crate of letters and other documents that are as compelling as they are revelatory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By adanield on 18 April 2006
Format: Hardcover
Fearless on Everest is a long overdue account of the life of Andrew Irvine, the man who perished alongside Mallory during the fateful 1924 British Everest expidition. Irvine's life was not without incident, but the truth of the matter is that he always has and always will be the junior partner in the Mallory and Irvine mystery. Irvine was only 22 years of age when he died. He had limited climbing experience and even though he had the potential to become one of the greatest mountaineers of all time, his early and untimely death alongside one of the greatest mountaineers in history sealed his place in history. Julie Summers endeavours to make his story as interesting as she can, and her hard work does breathe life into a man who has always been passed over by most people in order to concentrate on the legend of Mallory. Irvine was more than just a cardboard cutout, he was a real person, a former Boat Race winner, a mechanical genius and a much loved son, friend and brother, but in all honesty he did not live long enough in order to make a genuinely compelling biographical subject. He owes his place in the annals of moutaineering folklore to his part in one of the greatest mysteries of all time. Given Mallory's already legendary reputation as a climber and also due to the fame he enjoyed, it was only natural that Irvine's story would be passed over in favour of the more famous and romantic Mallory. Whether or not he and Mallory did reach the summit of Everest before they died will probably never be known, what is known however, is that Irvine, despite all of the potential he showed, will always be mentioned after the name of George Mallory.
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