Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

FEAR by Sir Ranulph Fiennes

  • Written by  Jules Stewart
  • Published in Books
FEAR by Sir Ranulph Fiennes
26 Jan
2017
Panic, Fiennes tells us, is to be avoided at all costs. On the other hand, fear is a welcome mechanism that enables the body and brain to work at their best

In his latest book, which deals largely with the experiences of ‘the world’s greatest living explorer’, Fiennes takes the reader through situations that have made him anxious, at times nervous, and on occasion ‘scared stiff’.

One might assume that fear is unknown to a former SAS officer who has led more than 30 expeditions to the world’s most inhospitable corners and has climbed Everest. Not so. Fiennes has suffered from some very basic human phobias, such as falling from heights and spiders. In this book, he puts forth numerous, highly readable accounts of how he has confronted these fears. Some, like vertigo, were tackled with extreme measures: for instance, climbing the North Face of the Eiger. ‘I knew that I had failed to shake off the curse of vertigo, but facing up to it, thinking [others] did it and survived,’ writes Fiennes, enabled him to meet the challenge of Everest.

Fiennes’s arachnophobia puts a different twist on overcoming fear. While manning a machine-gun post in Oman, a hideous-looking wolf spider hopped onto his bare ankle. His immediate reaction was to scream and smash his fist down on the monster. Instead, he forced his jaw into a grin and brushed the spider off his leg. None of his fellow soldiers had exhibited fear of spiders, hence, ‘My dread of losing respect managed to trump my lifelong spider phobia and served to break the spell for good.’

Fiennes is thankful for having known fear for, he says, through the successful control of the mind, using fear rather than letting it imprison us, offers the best chance of winning the battle and achieving happiness.

Click here to purchase Fear by Sir Ranulph Fiennes

 

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe to Geographical!

University of Winchester

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Winchester

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • The Human Game – Tackling football’s ‘slave trade’
    Few would argue with football’s position as the world’s number one sport. But as Mark Rowe discovers, this global popularity is masking a sinister...
    Essential oil?
    Palm oil is omnipresent in global consumption. But in many circles it is considered the scourge of the natural world, for the deforestation and habita...
    Hung out to dry
    Wetlands are vital storehouses of biodiversity and important bulwarks against the effects of climate change, while also providing livelihoods for mill...
    The Nuclear Power Struggle
    The UK appears to be embracing nuclear, a huge U-turn on government policy from just two years ago. Yet this seems to be going against the grain globa...
    The true cost of meat
    As one of the world’s biggest methane emitters, the meat industry has a lot more to concern itself with than merely dietary issues ...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Exhibitions

Four new galleries at Royal Museums Greenwich explore Britain’s maritime…

Books

by John Foot • Bloomsbury • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Deborah Baker • Chatto & Windus • £25 (hardback)

Books

By Lucy Seigle • Trapexe • £12.99/£6.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin • Pelican • £8.99 (paperback)

Books

by Christoph Baumer • IB Tauris • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Charles Lane • River Books • £40 (hardback)

Books

by Graham Hoyland• William Collins • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Dr Lucy Jones• Doubleday Books • £19.99 (hardback)

Books

by Daniel Pinchbeck• Watkins • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Jasper Winn • Profile Books • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Nathan H Lents • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £16.99…

Films

This hard-hitting marine conservation film – part of the Ocean…

Films

Here are the newest non-fiction offerings to satisfy that craving…

Exhibitions

The Society’s Earth Photo exhibition captures the planet’s natural riches…

Books

by Alanna Mitchell • Oneworld • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Christopher J Preston • The MIT Press • £20.95…

Books

by Jamal Mahjoub • Bloomsbury • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Joanna Kafarowski • Dundurn Press • 15.99 (hardback)

Books

by Peter Dauvergne • Polity Books • £9.99 (paperback)