The Moth and the Mountain

As part of our regular Fireside Talks series, we were delighted to welcome renowned journalist and author, Ed Caesar. Ed who writes regularly for the New Yorker, was a pupil at Wellington in the 1990s, and came to talk about his latest book, ‘The Moth and the Mountain’. Subtitled ‘A true story of Love, War and Everest’ the book explores the untold story of Maurice Wilson, Britain’s most mysterious mountaineering legend, and his heroically doomed attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1934.

In a lively and informative talk, Ed sketched out the bare bones of Wilson’s quest, explaining that he was interested in ‘the power of human will and the motions of the soul’, before going on to talk about how he researched the book and the various stages that it went through before its completion. He also gave plenty of advice about the writing process, stressing the need for extensive research and the discipline needed to get a thousand words written by lunchtime!

When asked about his time at Wellington he talked fondly about the Creative Writing society and revealed that it was reading Sebastian Faulks’s (another OW) The Girl from the Lion D’Or while at school that inspired him to think that he too could one day become a published author. The evening finished with Ed fielding a number of excellent and interesting questions from a knowledgeable audience of Third, Fourth and Lower Sixth Formers.

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