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Scott of the Antarctic Hardcover – Mar 1978


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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Scribner; Stated 1st Edition edition (Mar 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689108613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689108617
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,980,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"In this book [Huxley] proves again that there is no subject she cannot illuminate."--William F. Buckley Jr./i>--William F. Buckley Jr. "New York Times Book Review " --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Sep 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great book!
It is also an object lesson on how to be "British"!
Why is failure a British obsession? Robert Falcon Scott undertook two expeditions to the Antarctic. The final fatal one, a complete human disaster, is the story of how a heartbreakingly lengthy run of bad luck ended with it's Captain being cast forever in "British" folklore.
Huxley genuinely liked Scott, and as a result, I did too. It is impossible to do otherwise!! She gives a really warm impression of all the men involved in the story, and the bitterest impression of the conditions endured by men ill equipped even for a night on Ben Nevis let alone the coldest places on earth!
This book is also worth reading for all the satellite stories that are associated with the voyages. Human endurance pushed to the furthest limits. Inspiring and mind-boggling.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Jun 1998
Format: Paperback
Huxley gives the background information on why and how the South Pole expedition of 1910 -1913 became a disaster. The author gives valuable information to understand the history of this endeavor and why Scott was chosen as a leader beginning in the 1880s. She gives an excellent insight on preparations of the expedition and Scott's rivalry with Shackleton. The analysis on why Scott chose ponies and motor sledges as auxillary means of transport over dogs is excellent. The mixture of amateurism and masochism that led to failure shown by the immense feeling of pride to do everything -especially man-hauling the sledges- the hard way has not been explained as well in any other book I have read on the subject. In the foreword the author states that Scott only became a hero because he died and led his four companions into death. After reading the book one can only wonder how muchbecoming a hero might have been a motive that led to self-destruction after having only been second to the Pole after Amundsen's Norwegian expedition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Brain on 27 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are a great number of biographies of Robert Falcon Scott, the man who led the Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica in 1911/12. His trek to the South Pole - his forestalling by the Norwegian Amundsen - and his death with 4 companions on his return journey - are known of by very many - part now of the folklore of British history. This one, by Elspeth Huxley was written in 1977 - well before Roland Huntford's extremely critical appraisal of Scott (Scott and Amundsen, 2000) or Crane's more measured account (Scott of the Antarctic, 2005).

I found this version very entertaining and informative and remarkably well written. More than any other, Huxley provides an account which offers profound understanding of what made Scott the man he was. In places, her writing style is 'homespun' but her content is anything but. Her research is prodigious, providing some insights which I have not found elsewhere. Huxley is clearly sympathetic to a romantic view of Scott's life and achievements, but she does not shirk from pointing out the factors which inevitably led to his 'heroic' demise. I remain convinced that Scott was an honest, well-meaning man, much admired by most of his contemporaries, despite the fact that the overall shape of his last expedition meant that the risks he took were very high indeed. And despite some opinions to the contrary, I think Scott's focus on the science of Antarctica was totally genuine and results were remarkable.

Those who somehow feel that Scott was something else will disagree with Huxley's overall appraisal, and will not share my views, but I think she has got it right
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By G. Barker on 1 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived on time and was as good as i exspected and was good value for the money all in all very pleased
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Best book on the background of Scott's South Pole expedition 3 Jun 1998
By Henning Allmers allmers@bgfa.ruhr-uni-bochum.de - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Huxley gives the background information on why and how the South Pole expedition of 1910 -1913 became a disaster. The author gives valuable information to understand the history of this endeavor and why Scott was chosen as a leader beginning in the 1880s. She gives an excellent insight on preparations of the expedition and Scott's rivalry with Shackleton. The analysis on why Scott chose ponies and motor sledges as auxillary means of transport over dogs is excellent. The mixture of amateurism and masochism that led to failure shown by the immense feeling of pride to do everything -especially man-hauling the sledges- the hard way has not been explained as well in any other book I have read on the subject. In the foreword the author states that Scott only became a hero because he died and led his four companions into death. After reading the book one can only wonder how muchbecoming a hero might have been a motive that led to self-destruction after having only been second to the Pole after Amundsen's Norwegian expedition.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
like a Greek tragedy 27 Mar 2004
By Kristin F. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Lasting fame usually requires the death of the hero, as Elspeth Huxley notes in her preface. Had Robert Falcon Scott returned from the south pole, only the historian - and perhaps the scientist - would care about his story. But Scott and four companions died valiantly on the ice. Their courage, fortitude and dignity helped sustain Britain through dark years of war. And they inspire us still. Huxley focuses on Scott's character and how it shaped his motives and decisions. Fortunately, she does not overdo the `psychoanalysis'. She gives detailed accounts of Scott's two expeditions, and reaches sensible conclusions on the major points: his reluctance to use dogs, the complexity of his plans, the reasons for his failure. The latter she ascribes to incipient scurvy, bad weather and bad luck. But one simple, irrefutable fact hangs over all; ponies do not belong in Antarctica ... and Scott's plan centered around pony transport. His last expedition unfolds like a Greek tragedy, complete with warnings from the gods and universal moral lessons. Appropriately, his men inscribed their memorial to their five comrades with the closing line of Tennyson's Ulysses: "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The cold hard facts 20 May 2001
By David L. Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A true classic of the genre, "Scott.."chronicles the exploration of the world's last frontier: the great polar ice caps. The reader is emersed in the expedition as the pair of explorers plod endlessly in the tractless permafrost, unaware of the gaping crevaces hidden beneath the snow, but painfully aware of the howling winds that pelt their faces with stinging ice, and numbing cold. This very well written book is indeed a fitting tribute to those intrepid scientists who brave hostile regions to further man's knowledge of the globe.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Scott of the Antarctic 10 Feb 2001
By J. BURGESON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Scott of the Antarctic belongs in any complete collection of books on Antarctic exploration. It has a wealth of good, basic information on Scott's Discovery and Terra Nova expeditions.
But, having said that, the prospective reader must be warned that the book is a love letter to Scott, and has been utterly eclipsed by Roland Huntford's The Last Place on Earth, a far more scholarly and accurate account of the race to the South Pole.
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