Author and ex-UK politician Jeffrey Archer has poked fun at Sir Edmund Hillary's legacy with the novel 'Paths of Glory'.
The book is a fictionalized account of the life of George Mallory, who died on Everest in 1924, 29 years before Hillary climbed the world's tallest peak with Nepali Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, reports The NZPA.
Mallory was last spotted a few hundred metres below the summit and died shortly afterwards. Many of his admirers think he made it to the top and deserves Hillary's spot in history.
His new tome, which concludes with Mallory becoming the "first man to stand on top of the earth", has once again sparked rumors about whether the adventurer might have beaten Sir Ed to the summit by 29 years.
However, fellow mountaineer and friend of Sir Ed, Graeme Dingle, said of Archer's premise: "He's dreaming. There's essentially no chance Mallory got to the top. All the evidence points to them not making it."
He said Archer's interest in portraying Mallory as the first to summit the mountain was motivated by wounded English pride at having been beaten by a colonial.
"The English were desperate to get to the top and they didn't get there, even in 1953. I think the English are pretty sensitive about it. They've got nothing to be ashamed about, they had a lot of glorious failures," he added.
In 2001, Archer's political career ended in disgrace in Britain after he was found guilty of perjury and sentenced to four years in jail.