Alexander Maitland was a close friend of Thesiger for forty years. He edited Thesiger's anthology, My Life and Travels and helped produce Thesiger's My Kenya Days: The Danakil Diary. He is the author of biographies of Freya Stark and John Hanning Speke.
• Who was first to the top of the highest mountain in Peru?
• Who was the first Westerner to visit the Ottoman harem in Constantinople?
• Who held the world record as the only person to fly from Britain to Australia for 44 years?
You'll find the answers to these questions and more in Mick Conefrey's charming new book (a hint: none of them had beards).
In 1870, New York mountaineer Meta Brevoort climbed Mt. Blanc in a hoop skirt. Pausing at the summit only long enough to drink a glass of champagne and dance the quadrille with her alpine guides, she marched back down the mountain and into history as one of the first female mountain explorers.
Here, Mick Conefrey weaves together tips, how-tos, anecdotes, and eccentric lists to tell the amazing stories of history's great female explorers—women who were just as fascinating and inspiring as all the Shackletons, Mallorys, and Livingstones. Most were brave, some were reckless, and all were fascinating. From Fanny Bullock Workman, who was photographed on top of a mountain pass in the Karakoram, holding up a banner calling for "Votes for Women" to Mary Hall, the Victorian world traveler, whose motto was, "take every precaution and abandon all fear," How to Climb Mt. Blanc in a Skirt is uproariously funny and occasionally downright strange.
How do you become an explorer? It's a question every child has asked. And, Steve Backshall was no different. But after a rainy-day visit to an exhibition of artefacts from Papua New Guinea, it was a question that began to obsess the seven-year old Backshall.
Due to this childhood interest, the vast, untamed wildness of Papua New Guinea was where Backshall forged his unlikely path. From crushing lows of early failures to the extraordinary highs of the BBC's Lost Land of the Volcano expedition, it was this dark island which gave Backshall his opportunity. Full of incredible wildlife, extraordinary wilderness, jungles, cannibals, pitfalls, triumph, danger and excitement, Looking for Adventure is the irresistible, inspiring story of a little boy who let his heart rule his head.
While Wilfred Thesiger’s own classic writings (including ‘The Marsh Arabs’, ‘Arabian Sands’, ‘Desert’, Marsh and Mountain’, ‘The Life of My Choice’ and ‘My Kenya Days’) comprehensively cover his classic journeys amongst the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq, or across the Empty Quarter in Arabia, they fail conspicuously to shed light on his character and motives, which have remained an enigma.
Maitland’s biography had Thesiger’s support before he died in 2003, and has been written with full access, granted to no one else, to the rich Thesiger archive – vivid, intimate family correspondence, and his own letters, diaries and notebooks which are far more confiding than his scrupulously edited published accounts. Maitland investigates in depth Thesiger’s parents and family influences; his wartime experiences and the ethos of conflict; his philosophy as a hunter and conservationist; his development as a writer and photographer; his close friendships with the Arabs and Africans amongst whom he lived; and his sexuality. In all, this major biography of a great and unusual man will take its place on the shelf of outstanding lives of the great explorers.
The mystery of Dead Mountain: In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.
As gripping and bizarre as Hunt for the Skin Walker: This New York Times bestseller, Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, is a gripping work of literary nonfiction that delves into the mystery of Dead Mountain through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter.
You'll love this real-life tale: Dead Mountain is a fascinating portrait of young adventurers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers' narrative, the investigators' efforts, and the author's investigations. Here for the first time is the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.