We have written a dozen books.  Some are shown below; others will follow. 

Our latest book, Extreme Eiger, tells the story of an extraordinary  ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in 1966.  Two climbing teams - one British/American, one German - were competing to make the first ascent of a new "direct" route on the face.  There was a dramatic climax to the attempt which was completed in a ferocious winter storm that left several of the climbers injured by frost-bite.  Peter covered the original ascent of the London Daily Telegraph and wrote a book with the Scottish climber Dougal Haston, who reached the summit.  Now he and Leni have revisited the story, this time telling it in full from the perspective of both teams.  The book has had fabulous reviews and won the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild award for Book of the Year in 2015. So far it has been published in the UK (Simon and Schuster - see cover below), the US (Mountaineers) and in a German edition (AS Verlag, Zurich.)

Wade Davis called it "a story of courage and competition, triumph and tragedy, that will appeal to anyone keen to know just what happens to those who risk everything to achieve their dreams." And he said that we bring to our work "compassion, intellectual rigour, and the sort of original thinking  that elevates their books well beyond the genre of mountaineering literature".

Julie Summers: "Peter and Leni Gillman have given a detailed, human and absorbing account of this extraordinary story. It is utterly compelling and in place so vivid that it is vertigo-inducing..A tour de force."

Tom Hornbein: "Extreme Eiger combines imaginative new enquiry with fine storytelling to do justice to this historic ascent."

Jim Wickwire: "Compelling....a tour de force." 

Steve Dean: "I loved it, a real page-turner. Peter and Leni Gillman have done a superb job...a gripping read."

Richard Girling: "...a terrific story, objectively told but with exactly the right balance of humanity and sentiment." 


Our biography of Everest mountaineer George Mallory, The Wildest Dream, won the Boardman Tasker prize for mountain writing in 2000. This is the cover of the UK paperback, published by Headline. 


Our book won some impressive testimonials.

Joe Simpson, author of Touching the Void, called it "a finely wrought and meticulously detailed biography...It is at once telling and evocative".

Jon Krakauer, author of Into Thin Air, hailed "a masterful achievement - impeccably researched, beautifully written and a delight to read". 

Ian Wooldridge of the Dail Mail said:  "The most compelling read over 12 months...Go out and buy it."

Chris Smith, who was then Culture Secretary, said:  "The Wildest Dream  is mountaineering biography at its best. A fascinating journey, an interior journey coupled with exterior adventure, and well told, too."

Gordon Stainforth, writer and photographer: "The best mountaineering biography I have ever read."

Doug Scott, mountaineer: "Compulsive stuff.   The Gillmans strike a fine balance between Mallory's different worlds.  They handle the issue of Mallory's sexuality with great sensitivity as well as providing a wonderful snapshot of that era.  This book is probably the last word that needs to be said about him." The book was published in the US by Mountaineers Press - this is the paperback.



Our biography of David Bowie, Alias David Bowie, was published in 1986. It was the first full portrayal of an enigmatic and elusive rock star, peering through the myths and stories that overlay his early career to arrive at the truth. The book courted controversy by linking Bowie's multiple role-playing and his explorations of insanity to his family history and the fate of his half-brother Terry, the inspiration for Bowie's compelling song The Bewlay Brothers. Bowie did not cooperate with the writing of the book and was angered by its central theme. It has been widely cited in subsequent Bowie biographies.

New Record Mirror: "Stunningly and thoroughly researched - a truly icon-smashing portrait emerges." 

Sounds: "The wealth of detail on Bowie's career is astonishing...portrays the power games and manipulation endemic to rock superstars, which most insiders and rock journalists are too enthralled or blinkered by to care about." 

Times Literary Supplement (Charles ShaarMurray): "Biographies written by rock music critics rarely display the journalistic professionalism which is Peter and Leni Gillman's stock-in-trade. It is almost impossible to imagine any pop journalist having the patience, expertise and tenacity to locate and collate the kind of information presented in this book." 

Mick Brown gave us a wonderful mention in his review of another Bowie biography in 2010:



Our book Collar the Lot, published in 1980, revealed the untold WW2 story of how Britain interned the refugees who had sought sanctuary from Hitler. Nearly 30,000 were locked up and several thousand were deported - a policy that ended in tragedy when the Arandora Star was torpedoed and almost a thousand internees were drowned. As well as uncovering new and illuminating documents in the official archives, we interviewed former internees in Britain, the US and Australia.

We again won some wonderful reviews. The pick was from the eminent historian A.J.P. Taylor, who wrote in the Observer: "Peter and Leni Gillman have done a fine job in breaking through the clouds of official concealment....The personal narratives are staggering in their impact."