The Wide World: True Adventures for Men

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Macmillan, 2004 - Adventure and adventurers - 192 pages

From 1898 to 1965, The Wide World was the bestselling magazine for men who craved adventure. Each issue was filled with extraordinarily eccentric, but true, tales from around the world, ranging from lion hunts and shark attacks to brigandage, club bets and survival.

There are thrilling accounts of well-documented, yet forgotten exploits, such as Sir Vivian “Bunny” Fuch’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1957 and war hero Maurice Wilson’s disastrous (totally insane) solo assault on Everest in 1933. There is an endless fascination with logging, lion wrestling, and the ranking of snakes in terms of their venom. Great details emerge, such as the fact that the man who survived going over Niagara Falls in a rubber ball later died after slipping on a banana skin in New Zealand, or that a Wolf will never eat a human foot. There is even real pathos, as when we learn Maurice Wilson’s last diary entry before dying on Everest reads: “Off again. . .Gorgeous day.”

Recounted in wonderful, muscular prose (in which a wet suit is a ‘free swimming aqua-lung outfit’) and accompanied by maps, editorials, brief reports and adverts of sublime absurdity, this anthology will include the best of the magazine, presented in it's original design, with colour reproductions of its striking jackets throughout.

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About the author (2004)

Paul Safont is the pseudonym of an English lecturer long obsessed with the treasure trove of WIDE WORLD MAGAZINE.

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