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Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard [Paperback]

Sara Wheeler
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard (Modern Library) Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard (Modern Library) 4.9 out of 5 stars (8)
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Book Description

31 Oct 2002

Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959) was one of the youngest members of Captain Scott's final expedition to the Antarctic. Cherry undertook an epic journey in the Antarctic winter to collect the eggs of the Emperor penguin. The temperature fell to seventy below, it was dark all the time, his teeth shattered in the cold and the tent blew away. 'But we kept our tempers,' Cherry wrote, 'even with God.'

After serving in the First War Cherry was invalided home, and with the zealous encouragement of his neighbour Bernard Shaw he wrote a masterpiece. In The Worst Journey in the World Cherry transformed tragedy and grief into something fine. But as the years unravelled he faced a terrible struggle against depression, breakdown and despair, haunted by the possibility that he could have saved Scott and his companions.

This is the first biography of Cherry. Sara Wheeler, who has travelled extensively in the Antarctic, has had unrestricted access to new material and the full co-operation of Cherry's family.


Frequently Bought Together

Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard + The Worst Journey In The World (Vintage Classics) + An Unsung Hero: Tom Crean - Antarctic Survivor
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (31 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099437538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099437536
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Accomplishes what only the best biographies can" (The Times)

"Beautiful...written with unfailing eloquence and grace, and great admiration for its subject" (Independent)

"Brilliantly succeeds not only in brining this modest man disarmingly to life but also in recreating the England of his time and social setting...a formidable accomplishments" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Beautifully written... Wheeler's vocabulary to evoke this luminous and cruel continent appears limitless" (New York Times)

"With this wonderful biography Sara Wheeler has now vaulted into the front rank of modern British writers...this volume is so much more than a story of one remarkable man. It is among other things an exploration of the mind, a tour through the notions of national identity and pride, and a celebration of the tensile strength of the human spirit" (Simon Winchester)

Book Description

A brilliant biography of the youngest member of Captain Scot's final expedition to the Antarctic.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Apsley Cherry Garrard wrote the finest book ["The Worst Journey In The World"] ever to have come out of polar exploration. As a member of Scott's party on the 1911-12 expedition, Cherry Garrard was a witness and participant in the creation of a myth. He lived through events that have become lodged for all time in the consciousness of our country and our culture. His book is so important that, in turn, an account of his life is essential. Sara Wheeler's biography of Apsley Cherry Garrard is, I think, definitive.

Her grasp of polar exploration, past and present, is comprehensive. Her research began as preparation for her own time in Antarctica. She spent months traveling between the camps and research sites dotted about the continent, including a spell at the camp at the Pole. She returned to Antarctica the following year to spend weeks in a camp of her own [with another woman, a painter] as the Antarctic winter ended and the sun reappeared for another season.

Her first-hand appreciation of the conditions, the mentality, the motivations, the relationships, of Antarctic life lend an essential authenticity to her treatment of Cherry Garrard's account of his time with the 1911 expedition. It is clear that she has enormous affection for A. C.G. but this feeling for her subject does not in any way detract from the way she has presented this man's life. Her account of his life before and after the polar expedition is equally detailed and insightful.

The 1911 expedition and its outcome created a debate which continues to this day, including the nature of exploration, Scott as a man and as a leader, social and class issues then and now, colonialism, national consciousness, personal psychology under extreme conditions and much else.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cherry: A life of Aplsley Cherry-Garrard 6 Feb 2003
By Barbara
Format:Paperback
A gripping story of a very interesting life. Because of her own knowledge of the Antarctis, the author has managed to combine biography with adventure story. Through the gripping narrative, Apsley becomes a real person and his plight comes to life on every page. A book I read in small installments to be able to enjoy it for a long time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cherry 19 April 2006
Format:Paperback
I came across this book in a local secondhand bookshop just recently and had bought it on spec, I was not even familiar with the characters involved just looking for something different.

The detail which Sara Wheeler prescribes is quite frightening, the hardship of the sleding journeys (manhauling) let alone extreme cold is almost beyond belief. This truely must be an insight into what the lure and appeal of what early exploration must have been like and why people were driven to push themselves to such breathtaking boundaries. I did not find the book an easy or engulfing read, (excluding the early antarctic section) but the overwhleming desire to see it through to it's final resolutions make it a worthwhile if not thought provoking read.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cherry : A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard 11 Feb 2003
Format:Paperback
Sara Wheeler's book is an exceptional biography of an exceptional human being, and quite the best piece of serious writing I've come across in years. Cherry's epitaph for Oates as "a very gallant gentleman" could well have been his own.
Far from uncritical of her man, Wheeler balances a deep understanding of what led him to Antarctica, with a sympathetic and thoughtful analysis of his desperately self-destructive later years. Although much of the story springs from Cherry's remarkable relationships with his sledging partners, particularly Bowers and Wilson, I was glad that Wheeler did not fall into the trap of quoting wholesale from "The Worst Journey" (itself surely among the finest travel books ever written, though it was only through Wheeler that I learned of the contribution made by GBS). Sections of the biography are inevitably moving : the loss of the tent at Crozier, the discovery of Scott's party, Cherry's incomplete relationship with his young wife. His clinical depression seems well-handled, and it is impossible not to sympathise with his plight, even if, or perhaps because, it was to such a large extent self-inflicted.
Apsley Cherry-Garrard failed no-one but himself. Sara Wheeler has not let him down.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable response of the spirit 22 Sep 2008
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful book providing a much more reflective view on the 1911 Antarctic expedition of Scott than many others. It does this through tracing the life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard who, in his early twenties, was one of the youngest members of the team. I was somewhat sceptical that a book this length about one person could hold my attention, however it exceeded all expectation.

From a wealthy and privileged background, Cherry-Garrard found his adventure and purpose in the Antarctic, but in many ways never seemed throughout the rest of his life to have been able to find anything to match that early intensity of purpose and friendship. Not only that but it was his tragedy to be closest to rescuing Scott and his own two best friends (Bill Wilson and Birdie Bowers), and to be part of the group that eventually discovered their frozen corpses, having had to wait a whole winter to do so knowing that they had perished. Not surprisingly this loss marked the rest of his life. Wheeler writes that: "Through his story Cherry reached out to something universal: the eclipse of youth and the realm of abandoned dreams and narrowing choices that is the future."

However, the author does more than just bring the character of Cherry-Garrard so successfully alive, she also chronicles through that life an era long gone and challenges the reader how to find fulfilment when the intensity dies. As the subject himself wrote in his own best-selling account of the expedition, The Worst Journey in the World: "To me, and perhaps to you, the interest in this story is the men, and it is the spirit of the men, "the response of the spirit", which is interesting rather than what they did or failed to do: except in a superficial sense they never failed. That is how I see it and I knew them pretty well."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars well put together
A very good book by a well travelled author, if you are going to read the worlds worst journey by Cherry- Garrard , then read this book first.
Published 26 days ago by Mr. Leslie Ballard
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Antartic tale
My husband really enjoys books about the trials and tribulations of exploring the Antarctic and Arctic. He has really enjoyed this book.
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. Jane Ingram
5.0 out of 5 stars Put your sweater on to read this and sit by the fire!
Excellent book. This gives another very different, but complimentary side to the Scott expedition. The depth of suffering these chaps had to endure is almost beyond belief.
Published 11 months ago by buzz
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Cherry' - a little cracker
What a cracking biography.

Apsley Cherry-Garrard was a product of the Edwardian era - born into privilege in 1886 - but who craved adventure. Read more
Published 22 months ago by John Brain
5.0 out of 5 stars What a brilliant book
This is a multi-faceted book. It is not just a biography of Cherry, it gives an excellent account of the late Victorian character-building ethic and in addition, a perfect... Read more
Published 23 months ago by bluebirdfp
5.0 out of 5 stars Cherry
Wheeler is the best. You will not find a more well written, eloquent account of this Antarctican. As a child I was fascinated by Scott and polar exploration. Read more
Published 24 months ago by A. T. Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest & Brilliant
First off, read Cherry's "Worst Journey in the World" then this. Well written, unbiased & easy to read. Read more
Published on 15 Mar 2012 by Eve
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bite at the Cherry
The epic story of the Race to the South Pole was related by several survivors of Scott's 'Terra Nova' expedition, but 'The Worst Journey in the World' is universally acclaimed as... Read more
Published on 8 Jan 2012 by Robert H
4.0 out of 5 stars Polar madness
Fascinating and sympathetic account of post-traumatic stress and depression in one of the youngest members of Scott's Antarctic expedition. Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2012 by booksetc
5.0 out of 5 stars a small hero
Nice to have a biography about someone essentially ordinary though wealthy. The descriptions of the journey to the South Pole came alive when related to Cherry, though it tailed... Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2009 by Ellie
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