Best of the Internet
Today I Learned
Stories That Matter
About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Accuracy & Fairness Corrections and Clarifications Ethics Code
© 2024 THEDAILYNET All rights reserved
tdn logo
tdn logo
THEDAILYNET.COM / BEST OF THE INTERNET

Explorer's Last Letter to Wife Before Dying on Mount Everest Explains Why as Humans we Chase Adventure

George Mallory, renowned mountaineer's last letters written to his wife have been opened for public view
PUBLISHED MAY 18, 2024
Cover Image Source: YouTube/Cambridge University
Cover Image Source: YouTube/Cambridge University

George Mallory lived through tumultuous times when Britain participated in World War I, a global conflict that changed everything. But he is largely known as one of the first to scale Mount Everest in the 1920s, which also became a cause of his death, as per CNN. Magdalene College, Cambridge, Mallory's alumnus, has been able to get their hands on letters the mountaineer wrote to his wife during his last few days. In the letter he touches on the difficulties that he was facing and the glory that he hoped to achieve on the other side.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Denis Linine
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Denis Linine

Mallory was on the expedition with fellow climber Andrew Irvine and they were last seen on June 8, 1924, after which they disappeared. Mallory's body was later discovered 75 years later in 1999, while Irvine's body remains missing, as per Ati. The letters were found in Mallory's pockets and given to his wife. In order to, celebrate his life, the college will display a selection of Mallory’s letters and possessions in the exhibit “George Mallory: Magdalene to the Mountain.” In his letters leading up to the final expedition, he shared details about the training and tests that he went through. He also wrote about his setbacks such as bad weather, health issues, setbacks, and doubts.



 

In a letter dated May 27, 1924, he seemingly realized that the expedition was a tough task to complete. He claimed that the odds were “50 to 1 against us” in the letter. “This has been a bad time altogether,” Mallory wrote. “I look back on tremendous efforts & exhaustion & dismal looking out of a tent door and onto a world of snow & vanishing hopes.” He mentioned an instance when the floor below him collapsed and he was left suspended “half-blind & breathless.” He was supported just by an ice axe wedged across a crevasse while dangling over “a very unpleasant black hole.” The collection also had other letters penned by Mallory and his wife Ruth. The couple corresponded with each other throughout the war.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Suzy Hazelwood
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Suzy Hazelwood

During their courtship period, Mallory was deployed to fight in World War I. It was a challenging time and Ruth's letters provided him the much-needed confidence. Project Lead, Katy Green, a college archivist at Magdalene College analyzed the letters and had interesting remarks about the relationship. “She was the ‘rock’ at home, he says himself in his letters,” Green said. The archivist mentioned one note in which Mallory told Ruth: “I’m so glad that you never wobble because I would wobble without you.” Despite, his love for Ruth the man could never ignore the call of mountains and went on multiple expeditions. “There’s something in him that drove him,” Green said. “It might have been his wartime experience, or it might have just been the sort of person that he was.”

Green believes that the letters show an unprecedented view of women's lives during those times.“As it's Ruth’s letters from the war that survive (about 440) I loved the very personal and relatable information about a couple going through the war,” Katy Green told All That’s Interesting in an email. “I didn’t realize how many supplies women were sending out to the soldiers at the front including vests, vermin pants, curtains for the dugouts, and lots of food! I think these letters deserve more attention.”

POPULAR ON The Daily Net
MORE ON The Daily Net