Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer

One of well known novels of Jeffery Archer would be ‘Paths of Glory’, a biography of a world renounced mountaineer, George Mallory. Mallory is the first person to target Everest as per the known resources. The mysterious disappearance of George Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew Irvine at 1924 Everest expedition – is still a mystery left unsolved till date.

Ruth Turner, George Mellory, and Geoffrey Winthrop Young’s photos respectively. (removed due to rights)

Though there was vast discussions and debates over their ascent on Everest, Jeffery in his novel clearly mentioned that the pair got disappeared in their return journey from the Everest summit. Till today, similar to their disappearance, their first ascent on Everest is also another unsolved mystery. Most of the novel talks about his climbing skills & married life with Ruth Turner. Second half of the book talks about his two attempts towards Everest and their journey.

Cover  <br/>of UK paperback edition of Paths of  GloryThe 1924 expedition at base camp. Back row, left to right: Andrew Irvine, George Mallory, Edward Norton, Noel Odell and John Macdonald. Front row: Edward Shebbeare, Geoffrey Bruce, Howard Somervell  and Bentley Beetham.
This is the last known photograph of George Mallory (left) and Sandy Irvine, leaving for the North Col of Everest. The pair were to disappear into the mists, never to be seen alive again.

This was the Mallory’s dead body found in 1999, i.e after 75 years of their disappearance. Body was found just near to the place where Irvine’s ice axe got found. His body got completely preserved with the atmosphere there. After close observation, more discoveries are – a rope cut around his waist might have injured him seriously after a fall while climbing ascent/descent.

Nice part of the novel is that all the letters Mallory wrote to his wife. Don’t know whether they are they are the original ones are not. But I liked one sentence of all those. That is – There is no meaning to the glory you achieve unless there is somebody to share with.

Overall, nice novel to read. It never bores you at any point of time.

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