Readersforum's Blog

November 17, 2012

Into the Silence author Wade Davis wins Samuel Johnson award

‘Momentous’ non-fiction book meticulously details hardships of expeditions and relationship between British and Tibetans.

By Alison Flood

Explorer Wade Davis’s “momentous” look at George Mallory’s doomed attempts to scale Everest has won the UK’s top prize for non-fiction, the Samuel Johnson award.

Davis, a Canadian anthropologist and ethnobotanist who is an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, spent 10 years researching and writing Into the Silence.

The book puts the three attempts to climb Everest, between 1921 and 1924, into the context of the first world war: most of the 23 climbers had seen action, including Mallory, and Davis explores how the yearning to conquer the mountain was partly a response to the atrocities of the previous decade.

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