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Fearless on Everest: The Quest for Sandy…
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Fearless on Everest: The Quest for Sandy Irvine (2000)

by Julie Summers

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Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine has always been an enigma overshadowed both by his illustrious companion, George Mallory, and by Everest, the mountain they were attempting to summit on the day they disappeared. But this book, written by Irvine's grand-niece, clearly demonstrates that the 22-year old Oxford undergraduate, despite his relative inexperience as a climber, had engineering skills which made him an indispensible member of the expedition. Its interesting to speculate how the expedition would have fared had Siebe Gorman adapted the oxygen rigs to Sandy Irvine's specifications, as it is they didn't and 'The anguish over the oxygen apparatus is a recurring theme in Sandy's diary and by the time he got to Base Camp he had completely lost his sense of humour'.

Julie Summers is determined, and refreshingly unafraid, to show her great-uncle as a complete human being, so for the first time the reader learns of Sandy's affair with Marjory Summers, the step-mother of his best friend, Dick. Summers also clearly sets out Sandy's initial reactions of betrayal and jealousy when he first hears of Dick's engagement to his sister, Evelyn.

An important book which, to this reader at least, ensures that Andrew Irvine will be much more than Mallory's inexperienced protégé. ( )
  riverwillow | Dec 23, 2009 |
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Epigraph
Brave heart at peace - youth's splendour scarce begun

Far above earth encompassed by the sky.
Thy joy to mount the goal was all but won.
God and the stars could see thee die.

Thou and thy comrades scaled the untrodden steep

Where none had ever ventured yet to climb
Wrapt in heroic dreams lie both asleep
Their tools still struggling past the bounds of time

Till God's loud clarion rends the latest morn
Sleep on! We mourn not for 'tis God knows best
Then rise to greet the glad eternal dawn
Flooding with flame the peaks of Everest

F.T. Prior, 1924
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I have no recollection of how old I was when my father first told me the story of Uncle Sandy.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0898867967, Paperback)

Includes never-before-published letters and photographs The mystery of Mallory and Irvine continues to capture public imagination Written by an Irvine family member

Mallory and Irvine. These two names have been inextricably joined since the two climbers disappeared on Mount Everest more than seventy-five years ago. Mallory's story has been well chronicled, but Irvine has always been overshadowed by his more famous climbing partner. Little has been written about him until now. Who was he? Why was he invited by the British Everest Committee to join the 1924 expedition despite his limited mountaineering experience? And why did Mallory, sixteen years his senior, select Irvine as his partner for the final assult on the summit? Julie Summers, great niece of Sandy Irvine, has been fascinated since childhood by the story of "Uncle Sandy." In May 2000, Julie made an astonishing discovery: a long forgotten and unopened trunk containing Irvine's letters nad photographs from Everest. Drawing on these and other material, Julie writes a revealing story of a fearless young adventurer whose life and death linked him with one of the greatest mountaineering legends of all time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:32 -0400)

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