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After Everest - T. Howard Somervell Howard Somervell participated in the British Mount Everest expeditions of 1922 and 1924. Along with Col. Norton (who went a bit higher), he set an altitude record for a climb without oxygen in 1924 that stood until 1978. Somervell nearly lost his life by choking to death on a piece of his own frostbitten larynx on the descent, but was able to perform the Heimlich maneuver on himself and survived. Like most of the other early Everesters, he was a pretty tough guy, but also passed his down time painting Himalayan landscapes and reading poetry with George Mallory, whom he considered a kindred spirit and close friend.

This book (now in the public domain and available on Internet Archive) is Dr. Somervell's autobiography recounting his Everest experiences and his work as a medical missionary in India after the expeditions. His attitudes about religion, British imperialism, and social stratification are surprisingly modern. He writes also of the medical conditions he treats and the variety of social issues that exacerbate them. His writing style is straightforward though not particularly inspired. It may interest those interested in the early Everest expeditions, colonial India, or tropical medicine.