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Summary

The untold story of Britain's most mysterious mountaineering legend - Maurice Wilson - and his heroic attempt to climb Everest alone.

In the 1930s, as official government expeditions set their sights on conquering Everest, a little-known World War I veteran named Maurice Wilson conceived his own crazy, beautiful plan: he would fly a Gipsy Moth aeroplane from England to Everest, crash land on its lower slopes, then become the first person to reach its summit - all utterly alone.

Wilson didn't know how to climb. He barely knew how to fly. But he had pluck, daring and a vision - he wanted to be the first man to stand on top of the world. Traumatised by his wartime experiences and leaving behind a trail of broken hearts, Wilson believed that Everest could redeem him.

This is the tale of an adventurer unlike any you have ever encountered: an unforgettable story about the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Maurice Wilson is a man written out of the history books - dismissed as an eccentric and a charlatan by many, but held in the highest regard by renowned mountaineers such as Reinhold Messner. The Moth and the Mountain restores him to his rightful place in the annals of Everest and in doing so attempts to answer that eternal question - why do we climb mountains?

©2020 Ed Caesar (P)2020 W F Howes

Critic reviews

"One of the best books ever written about the early attempts to conquer Everest. A fine, fine slice of history by a truly special writer who proves time and time again that he is among the best of his generation." (Dan Jones, author of The Plantagenets)

What listeners say about The Moth and the Mountain

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A Man From A Different World & Time

Caesar, tells a tale from a very different time about a man who did what was expected when 🇬🇧 asked in WW1 and then paid the emotional price. A tale so strange it's hard not to think it's all fiction! A man high up on Everest finally finds his release!

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A potential movie on the cards?

Enjoyed this story immensely. Not enough is written about the personal impact WW1 had on individuals. We see the memorials and cenotaphs across the land which is dedicated to the fallen, but of those that returned injured and, or, mentally scarred, what of them? Appreciate this isn't the principle thrust behind the story, however the author covered these areas well, in addition to the main storyline itself. Recommended.

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Fabulous story of adventure! Recommend 100%

Loved this story. It''s amazing to think one man did all this. Makes you realise how much we take for granted. Desperate now for my own next adventure!

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they don't make them like that anymore!!

an epic tail, well worth a listen. history and adventure and more than a little dreaming.

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Loved it..

The tale of a 'plucky' man, an individual free thinking man that just wouldn't quit.

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Great listening

The story is amazing. You go from feeling sorry for Morris, to not liking him and thinking hes a pompous git, to marvelling at his determination and sheer audacity. The friendships he formed especially with his sherpas (or bootiers I think) speak of quite charming and 'plucky' gentleman who seems to have been left wanting most of his life

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What a superb story. Can’t believe it’s not more well known

This is an amazing true story. It’s nicely narrated and makes a great listen. I read and listen to a lot of books and this has to be up there with the very best. Highly recommended

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Great Story

Great story, very well researched, I’m not a huge fan of the writer’s style though.

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Excellent!

Wow! What a fascinating story. Well researched and wonderfully read. Would make a great film.

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Fascinating

This is a thorough examination of one very unusual man’s life. There is a goodly amount about his and others experiences during the First World War early on, before going on to talk about his relationships with family, women and friends. It then talks about his plans to climb Everest . There follows an account of the most amazing solo flight by someone who had only just learned to fly, and then his efforts to gain access to and to climb Everest. At the time of his attempt, no one had ever reached the summit.
I found the whole book absolutely fascinating and cannot recommend it highly enough.