Author: H.W. Tilman Bob Comlay Andrew Craig-Bennett
Series title: H.W. Tilman: The Collected Edition
Paperback publication date: 01 Jun 2017
Paperback ISBN: 9781909461420
The circumnavigation of Spitsbergen is the first of three voyages described in H.W. Tilman’s final book. Triumph and Tribulation closes his literary legacy, a testament to a remarkable life.
‘Experience is said to be the name men give to their mistakes and of the experience I gained in Spitsbergen that may well be true.’ The circumnavigation of Spitsbergen is the first of three voyages described in H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman’s fifteenth and final book, a remarkable example of Tilman's ability to triumph when supported by a crew game for all challenges. The 1974 voyage of the pilot cutter Baroque takes Tilman to his furthest north––the highest latitude of any of his travels in the northern or southern hemisphere. The account of this achievement makes compelling reading, the crew pulling together to avert potential disaster from a navigational misjudgement. A younger, less experienced crew join Tilman in 1975, this time heading north along Greenland’s west coast until a break in the boom necessitates the abandonment of the objective and an early return. ‘That one can never be quite confident of reaching any of the places I aim at may be part of their charm, and failure is at least an excuse for making another voyage.’ The following year proves to be Tilman’s last voyage in his own boat, his account beginning with a dry nod to his artillery background: ‘As I begin to describe this voyage, the discrepancy between the target and the fall of shot provokes a wry smile.’ Tilman never expected crews to pay, covering all the costs of his voyages personally. He therefore held the quite reasonable view that his crew would pull their weight, show loyalty to the ship and take the rough with the smooth. Sadly, the crew in 1976 fell far short of that expectation, forcing several changes of plan and eventually obliging Tilman to leave Baroque in Iceland. Not for the first time in Tilman’s remarkable 140,000 miles of voyaging is he moved to quote Conrad: ‘Ships are all right, it's the men in them.’ Tilman set a high standard and led by example; where his companions rose to the challenge, as they did in the majority of his expeditions, the results were often remarkable. Triumph and Tribulation, his fifteenth and final book, completes this newly extended edition of his literary legacy, a fine testament to a remarkable life.
Harold William ‘Bill’ Tilman (1898–1977) was among the greatest adventurers of his time, a pioneering mountaineer and sailor who held exploration above all else. Tilman joined the army at seventeen and was twice awarded the Military Cross for bravery during WWI.
After the war Tilman left for Africa, establishing himself as a coffee grower. He met Eric Shipton and began their famed mountaineering partnership, traversing Mount Kenya and climbing Kilimanjaro. Turning to the Himalaya, Tilman went on two Mount Everest expeditions, reaching 27,000 feet without oxygen in 1938. In 1936 he made the first ascent of Nanda Devi – the highest mountain climbed until 1950.
He was the first European to climb in the remote Assam Himalaya, he delved into Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor and he explored extensively in Nepal, all the while developing a mountaineering style characterised by its simplicity and emphasis on exploration.
It was perhaps logical then that Tilman would eventually buy the pilot cutter Mischief – not with the intention of retiring from travelling, but to access remote mountains. For twenty-two years Tilman sailedMischief and her successors to Patagonia, where he crossed the vast ice cap, and to Baffin Island to make the first ascent of Mount Raleigh. He made trips to Greenland, Spitsbergen and the South Shetlands, before disappearing in the South Atlantic Ocean in 1977.
Andrew Craig-Bennett was a member of the crew of Baroque in 1974. He has spent a career in the commercial management of merchant shipping, mainly in East Asia.
Discounts & P&P
From Friday 1 April 2022, we offer 25% off to all newsletter subscribers. Simply sign up to our newsletter here to receive your discount code. If you're already a subscriber, we'll remind you of the code every time we send out a newsletter.
In addition, from 1 November until 23 December 2022, we're offering FREE standard UK P&P for orders, along with options to upgrade the delivery service at checkout.
Postage costs are dependent on order weight (book/s weight plus packing materials) and are calculated automatically upon checkout, before payment is taken. Full details of our delivery and returns information can be found here.
UK orders are sent Royal Mail Second Class as standard and should arrive within two to three working days. From 1 November until 23 December 2022, standard UK shipping is free. The option to upgrade UK shipping to Royal Mail 24 Next Day Delivery is available at checkout.
International orders are sent by Royal Mail International Tracked. Deliveries can take between a few days and a couple of weeks to arrive, depending on the delivery location. Please contact us if your country is not listed.
Update: September 2022. Most orders received through the Vertebrate Publishing Adventure Books website are dispatched from Gardners in Eastbourne, UK; some orders (such as signed copies of pre-orders, or limited stock items) are sent from our office in Sheffield, UK. If your order is for multiple items, you may receive more than one package, though we try to avoid this (if applicable, you would only be charged once for shipping). Orders received before 11 a.m. are dispatched the same day; orders received after 11 a.m. are usually dispatched the following business day. You will be sent a notification email when your order has been dispatched. If we are temporarily out of stock of a title we will advise by email.
Gift card purchases are delivered electronically – we do not dispatch physical gift cards. Full details are provided with gift card purchases.
Coming soon! Ebooks are fulfilled securely by our partner Glassboxx using their app. For more details about how to access your ebook, please refer to the information in your order confirmation.
Payment is made safely and securely using Shopify, which incorporates the world's leading payment gateways, including Stripe, Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can also check out with PayPal. All payments are handled directly by these payment gateways and Vertebrate Publishing Adventure Books does not process or store any cardholder details on the Adventure Books website.
We will happily refund or exchange any item that is returned to us in an unused, as new condition. If you want to make a return, contact us with your details. Once we've received the item(s), we will credit your account. If the item is faulty or damaged or we have sent the incorrect item we will refund postage.
If you're returning something because it's not suitable, you'll need to pay the postage costs to return it to us. We process most returns the day they arrive with us, and certainly within seven working days. Goods must be returned to us within 21 days.