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About Graham Hoyland
Graham Hoyland is a best-selling author, mountaineer, sailor and producer and director of adventure films. He has worked on all seven continents for the BBC, Discovery, Travel Channel and NBC, from the shores of Antarctica to the peaks of the Himalayas, and he was the 15th Briton to climb Mount Everest.
Graham is the author of "Yeti: An Abominable History" (2018), "Walking Through Spring: An English Journey" (2016) and the #1 Amazon Mountaineering bestseller "Last Hours on Everest", released in 2013, all published by Collins.
He has worked on science, ethnographic and natural history films, and also on the award-winning BBC Two business series 'Dragon's Den'.
Writing for the Travel section of the Independent is one of the unexpected pleasures that comes from a lifetime of travel, and now he is lecturing and after-dinner speaking about his books and his "Seven Seas, Seven Summits" circumnavigation of the world by yacht.
"I wrote "Last Hours on Everest" because I thought I had finally figured out what happened to Mallory and Irvine when they disappeared during the 1924 Everest expedition.
I climbed the mountain in 1993 (becoming the 15th Briton to climb Everest). There are lots of good books on the topic, but very few by Everest summiteers who can draw on personal experience of the mountain. I've returned there nine times trying to discover exactly what happened up there. On the way, my 1999 expedition found George Mallory's body.
The combination of a long-kept family secret, high-altitude archaeology and cutting-edge science led me to the truth."
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Published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the 80th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain, Merlin is the extraordinary story of the development of the Rolls-Royce engine that would stop Hitler from invading Britain and carry the war to the very heart of Germany.
The story of the Merlin engine encompasses the history of powered flight, from the ingenuity of the Wright Brothers to the horrors of World War I, and from the first crossing of the Atlantic to the heady days of flying in the 1920s. There is also the extraordinary story of the Schneider Trophy – an international contest wherein nations poised on the precipice of war competed for engineering excellence in the name of progress.
And at the heart of this story are the glamourous lives of the pilots, many of whom died in their pursuit of speed; the engineers, like Henry Royce of Rolls-Royce, who sketched the engine that would win WWII in the sand of his local beach; and perhaps most importantly the Lady Lucy Houston who after the Wall Street Crash singlehandedly funded the development of the engine and the iconic Spitfire.
Never was so much owed by so many to so few – and without the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, the few would have been powerless.
Dawn broke fine on that fatal day. A couple of thousand feet above the tiny canvas tent the summit of the world’s highest mountain stood impassively, waiting for someone to have the courage to approach.
Inside the ice-crusted shelter, two forms lay still as death. Then there was a groan, a stirring, and eventually the slow scratch of match against sandpaper. Low voices shared the high-altitude agonies of waking, the heating of water, the struggle with frozen boots.
As the sun rose through wisps of cloud beyond the Tibetan hills to the east, one of the men emerged through the tent flaps. It was a fine morning for the attempt, with only a few clouds in the sky. The two of them stood for a while, shuffling their feet and blowing into their hands. Inside the tent lay a mess of sleeping bags and food. The men lifted oxygen sets onto their backs, then they turned towards the mountain and stamped off into history.
On the 6th June, 1924, George Mallory and Sandy Irvine disappeared into the mists of history. George Mallory’s body was discovered high on Everest in 1999. Sandy Irvine’s body is still believed to be on the mountain having been rediscovered in 1975 by a Chinese climber who was killed the very next day.
In 1993, Graham Hoyland became the 15th English man to climb Everest having become obsessed by the mountain and the myth of what happened to Mallory and Irvine. It was his evidence that led to the discovery of Mallory’s body and it will be his evidence that will lead to the discovery of Sandy Irvine’s.
The Last Hours on Everest is the most detailed reconstruction of what happened after the two English climbing legends left the camp on that fateful day. Combining personal experience, the physical evidence found on the mountain and an insight into the hearts and minds of the two climbers, Graham Hoyland produces the most compelling description of what actually happened on that day and the answer to that most intriguing of questions – did they actually climb Everest?
What leads us to believe in monsters? What happens when we meet the brutal creatures of our nightmares?
Tales of the yeti, the ‘Abominable Snowman’ of the Himalayas, have been recorded for centuries. This huge, ape-like, hairy creature has tantalised explorers, mountaineers and locals with curious footprints and elusive appearances. But until recently, no one has been able to identify what this mythical creature might be, or even determine if it is real.
On an expedition to the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, Graham Hoyland found and filmed footprints of the mythical yeti in a part of the country that has never before been visited by Western explorers. In a lost valley near the unclimbed mountain Gangkar Punsum, Hoyland believes he was stalked by the mysterious yeti, a beast so unspeakably powerful that locals say it can kill a yak with one savage blow of its fist.
As he delves into the fascinating history of this ancient legend, Hoyland hears tales of the yeti from Sherpas who have tried and failed to track it. He explores the literary hinterland behind the legend and searches for the yeti’s American cousin Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and her African relative Mokèlé-Mbèmbé. From the dubious, mystical pseudo-science of the Nazis in the 1930s to our current era of ‘post-truth’ and ‘fake news’, Hoyland examines the age-old cultural phenomena that have shaped our collective consciousness and fuelled a belief in the existence of these monstrous creatures.
‘The most effective advertisement for the countryside I've ever encountered’ Daily Mail
Walking Through Spring follows Graham Hoyland’s journey as he traces a new national trail, walking north with Spring from the South Coast to the Borders.
Hoyland connects a labyrinth of ancient footpaths, marking each mile by planting an acorn and drawing a path of oak trees that stretch through the English countryside.
From dairy cows cantering and kicking their heels in lush meadows in the West Country, to galloping bands of lambs in the Peak District and secret green ways winding along canal tow-paths up the Derwent Valley, Hoyland draws inspiration from the vast literary landscape as he watches the season unfold across the country.
Whether it is sailing a dinghy through the Lake District or taking in an otter’s point of view down the River Eden to the Scottish border, he finds himself engaging with some of England’s best nature writers, discovering the essence of the country and meeting England’s rural characters along the way.