I’ve got a thing for George Mallory. I’ve got a thing for vintage books. That’s why I love my rare find of ‘The Spirit of Man,’ a compilation of poetry from 1915 created to motivate and inspire England and its allies during WWI. My copy, which I received earlier this year, has been housed in the West Point library since 1916. I love the way in which Robert Bridges presents the poetry in his book–he doesn’t label the poems with titles or authors, just numbers. He didn’t want to distract the reader from the message. The poetry includes passages from Yeats, Shakespeare, Shelley, Bronte, Milton and many others.
George Mallory took his copy to Everest during his climbs and would read from it with his mountaineering companions during the nights at 20,000 plus feet. Such a gentleman, such a lovely book.