Coronation Everest (Jan Morris) pdf, epub, doc

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Whether you are a connoisseur of high ice and windy ridges or a sedate epicure of modern English prose, Morris's Coronation Everest will send a chill down your spine. As much a story of mid-century journalism and the rush for the scoop as a record of the first successful conquest of Everest, the book is a bounding read written in the tradition of the ripping yarn, with a shot or two of Evelyn Waugh splashed liberally all about. Morris covered the 1953 British assault on Everest for The Times of London, an assignment that sent him clambering up the Khumbu ice fall and the Western Cwm to Advance Camp 4, over 21,000 feet above sea level and only 8,000 feet from the roof of the world. He was one of the first to meet Hillary and Tenzing as they descended from the summit, a success that sent him skidding some 4,000 feet down to Base Camp in a single afternoon to quickly encode the great news and pass it to runners instructed to have it wired to London from the nearest transmitter, in Namche Bazar.

No matter that Hillary was a Kiwi and Tenzing a Sherpa, the expedition was led by a Briton, and the news of their success, which arrived in London on the morning of the young Queen's coronation, was heralded as a harbinger of a new Elizabethan age. Parts of the story may strike you as surprisingly supportive of the monarchy, coming as it did from the pen of man (later woman) whose republican views are well known. And some of the language carries the strong scent of a moribund empire; but Morris's prose, even at its Fleet Street brassiest, is a fascinating study both of the suppleness English punctuation and the possibilities for syntactic brilliance. If you love watching a tortuous climb followed by a breathtaking hop-and-drop rappel then you may well find the few hours spent reading Coronation Everest a storytelling and stylistic triumph.

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