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Journals: Captain Scott's Last Expedition (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 10 Jul 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New Ed. / edition (10 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199536805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199536801
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 2.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Definitive...Max Jones and the publishers are to be congratulated on this new version of a classic story, and for offering it at such a reasonable price. It should be the last word for a very long time. (Polar Record 42)

The mother of all books about walking ..beautiful edition. (Irish Timesn)

Book Description

Timeless and moving journals from the world's most famous explorer read by David Horovitch. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Philip R. Hyne on 18 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having been in the Antarctic I understand why Scott and others felt they just had to go back. But it takes no prisoners - you work with it and live or you work against it and die. There's no room for chance. And that's what Scott did - even at the Pole he realised his chance of getting back was far from guarranteed. Here in his journals, which are very readable and yet fully detailed, we find the story as it unfolds to the bitter end. This is an excellent little book - cheap, illustrated with photos and maps, and an excellent read as you suffer with Scott and his companions as the seeds of destruction are unwittingly sown and things begin to fall apart from the outset. Despite all that's been said against the man, he is a great man yet of his time and profession, with its prejudices and constrictions. This is the greatest adventure story you will ever read. Thanks to Oxford for making it so available in this edition.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By I. R. Cragg on 30 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fantastically moving work of literature, particularly the last couple of chapters covering Scott's journals from the South Pole to his final camp, but my enjoyment of the Kindle version was ruined from first to last by the absolutely diabolical formatting. As might be expected of a book dealing with exploration, there are quite a few tables and lists reproduced throughout and I don't think that a single one is easily legible. There are also typos aplenty- "Charter" for "Chapter" several times for a start- and this edition is a blot on Oxford University Press's reputation as a serious publisher of literary texts. In fact, I'm not sure that such slapdash work isn't disrespectful to Scott's memory.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Miseri57 on 9 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though the text in Scott's writings have been, occasionally, `tampered' with by modifying the most hurtful remarks made against his men, this journal lists changes made and cites them at the back.

For me, Scott's greatest talent was his literary skill even though on occasion he seems to be writing to different audiences; including times when he appears to be writing to himself.

A superb lyrical account and first hand insight into moments of optimism, joy, passion, bravery, frustration, hope, misery and death.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 11 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A useful introduction by Max Jones covers Scott the hero, the failure, and Scott as judged by more recent revisionists.

If this expedition had not been lead by Scott failure would have been on the cards anyway. British preferences in equipment were weak: poor tents (no sewn-in groundsheets, and slow to erect), weak clothing, poor diets (both insufficient, and with no clear understanding of scurvy); and there was a preference for man-hauling (determined in part by what they were able to handle confidently, but also by the thought that this was more heroic than using dogs). Shackleton had come to within 100 miles of the pole using ponies and man-hauling, but had the good judgement to turn back when he felt they could do no more. Scott followed Shackleton's route and based his planning round beating Shackleton's recorded distances.

Throughout this journal Scott's anxieties dominate. There are also practical oddities: for example, in a very heavily loaded ship taking the expedition south Scott found room for a Pianola. Scott's thinking was confused on methods of hauling - by tractors, dogs, ponies and men. Scott also overlooked important details - for example the known evaporation of fuel from cans in depots (Amundsen took special care here by soldering the seams of his fuel cans).

Scott had determination; but he was always looking for 'good luck'. Maybe the weather was not kind to him on the return journey, but due allowance should have been made for this.

Scott's journal inevitably reflects the values of Edwardian society which now seem rather out of touch. The rigid division of his party into 'men' and 'officers' is just one example.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Elacia on 9 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not a comment on Scott's Journals, but a warning to avoid the Kindle version of this title published by Oxford University Press. It's necessary to make this clear, since Amazon has a habit of lumping together reviews of the same title, even when they clearly refer to very different editions.

Signs that Kindle readers are being shabbily treated are evident from the outset when, presumably as a result of a botched search-and-replace, one encounters the following formulations in the introduction: `introductionspective', `introductionduced' and `introductionducing', as well as one instance of `scott' and one of `printduring'.

Thankfully, the main text is relatively error-free, but there are a couple of instances of missing text: one in the narrative itself, which runs, `found to have quite a lot of fat on him and the' (the sentence stops there), and one in the notes that attributes `Slough of Despond' to `one of the scenes in part 1 of B' (which was obviously intended to say, `Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress"'). Moreover, several tables are rendered virtually useless at any text size due to erratic tabulation and arbitrary line-endings, while note numbers aren't actively linked to their respective notes, which means a good deal of page-saving and searching through the Kindle's Notes and Marks function. Finally, the index is of no practical use whatsoever.

While some of these shortcomings might be tolerable in cheaply produced editions, they become unacceptable when issued by renowned publishers like OUP and Penguin (whose Kindle edition of Fitzgerald's `This Side of Paradise' leaves much to be desired), retailing at prices not much lower than one would pay for their own print editions.
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