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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book needed to be written
I believe that R Fiennes has written a very important book.
I have been collecting Antarctic literature, for the period between 1901 - 1922 since the early eighties. I have all the journals, several biographies, many first editions and even one of Scott's first expedition signed by Peter, whom I also knew and visited in Slimbridge. I was fortunate enough to spend 17...
Published on 4 Mar 2004

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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An alternative view to other biogs
I have read various books on Scott, most notably Roland Huntford's biography of Scott and Amudsen. After these accounts I have always left with the impression that Scott bumbled through the race to pole. that he was arrogant, ignorant, idealistic and naive. Well after reading Fiennes book I am unsure what to think.

Ranulaph Fiennes writes a good book and...
Published on 15 Sep 2007 by Rufus


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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book needed to be written, 4 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Captain Scott (Hardcover)
I believe that R Fiennes has written a very important book.
I have been collecting Antarctic literature, for the period between 1901 - 1922 since the early eighties. I have all the journals, several biographies, many first editions and even one of Scott's first expedition signed by Peter, whom I also knew and visited in Slimbridge. I was fortunate enough to spend 17 days camped, with a friend and Argentinian colleague, just a stone's throw from Scott's hut when part of the NZ Antarctic Research Team of January 1996. I spent many, and happy, hours just sitting in the hut as I had been given the key for the whole period.
All of my "knowledge", and opinions, of this period has come from the various journals and biographies written. I do not claim any expertise, just a love of the period and of Antarctica itself .
I have never been able to understand why biographers believe that there was rivalry between Scott and Shackleton or why, in order to revere one of the explorers of this time it is necessary to pour scorn on another. Why each explorer of this period cannot be admired for their own individual contributions to Antarctic exploration. For myself, I have always regarded Scott as the amateur and Amundsen as the professional, but without denigration or honour being applied to these words. Much like the Players versus the Gentlemen in sixties cricket parlance, or ProAm golf today.
There can be no doubt that Huntford did a huge disservice to the memory of Scott without really adding anything to the understanding of polar exploration. It was as unnecessary as it was transparently erroneous. I sincerely hope that Fienne's book will be widely read, it deserves to be both for the additional material and insights it has brought to the subject as well as re-dressing the balance of Scott's achievement.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellently crafted and definitive work., 21 July 2009
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Captain Scott (Hardcover)
On the cover of my copy of this book is a head and shoulders photograph of Scott which, almost eerily, reminds me of a similar study of author Ranulph Fiennes from another work. These two men have more in common than just the South Pole.

Over the years, Scott has come in for considerable criticism particularly by those who have no understanding of the subject. This can be likened to a non-driver who believes he is able to describe exactly what it is like to survive a racing car crash at over 180 mph. Personally, I want to hear the driver's account. Scott, however, did not survive his final expedition and that is why so many "non-drivers" believe themselves qualified to comment on his life, his achievements and, of course, his death - and do so from the warmth and safety of whatever centrally-heated base camp they occupy.

Such armchair experts deliberately set out to uncover whatever flaws exist in the makeup of any person who achieves greatness and often invent defects which never existed. They do so in order to reduce that person to whatever common level is occupied by themselves. Consequently, Scott has been subjected to the wrath of writers whose own understanding of hardship is limited to the inconvenience of running out of petrol on a motorway. It takes, therefore, an explorer and writer of the magnitude of Ranulph Fiennes to produce an accurate biography of Captain Scott if only because he possesses an unparalleled understanding of the subject, of the man, of the hardships and of the drive and ambition - because he too has been there and done that. Add to that, the simple fact that Ranulph Fiennes is also able to provide an outstanding "read" and this book does supreme justice to the topic.

Ranulph Fiennes has led many expeditions, has conquered both Poles and in 2009 climbed Everest at the age of 65! Whilst this book is about Scott and not the author, they are relevant factors when considering the content. In an outstanding and excellently crafted work, Captain Scott is revealed in a way not seen before - if only because no previous author had the expertise to understand what happened and why. As Scott and his life are revealed page by page, so Fiennes tackles each success, each obstacle, each failure and each point of later criticism as it was reached in the life of the man himself. Expertly drawing on his own relevant experiences precisely at the right time, Fiennes provides the reader with a thorough awareness of exactly what confronted Scott. In explaining each occurrence, he offers the reader a thorough comprehension of the situation and the attendant problems so that we are finally able to understand. And it all comes about because both subject and author are, in many ways, kindred spirits.

That said, this is not a work of hero worship. Certainly not. This is an honest appraisal of a great man who had equally great flaws in is character and eventually caused other men to die. It is, therefore, an exposé of the truth behind that man and of the legend he has become. Along the way each myth is not just discounted, it is considered almost as though a formal commission is tasked with establishing the truth. By adopting this approach, Ranulph Fiennes provides a long-overdue definitive account of the life of Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Perhaps, he may now be finally allowed to Rest in Peace.

NM
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read. Truly a Great Briton, 8 July 2012
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This review is from: Captain Scott (Paperback)
I just finished reading this excellent account of Captain Scott and his attempts to reach the South Pole.
R Fiennes brilliantly captures the essence of the man and his team, going some way to restore Robert Falcon Scott's reputation as a truly Great Briton.

I defy anyone to not enjoy this thoroughly readable and engaging book and think that the men that spent time in such hellish conditions are not heroes. They are the Columbus', Magellans' and Cooks' of their age.

Fiennes describes what some of those conditions must have been like in great descriptive detail - and in the context of the age - how horrendous the suffering must have been.

Well done, Mr Fiennes. I can't remember the last book I enjoyed this much.

5 stars from start to finish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Scott, 29 Jun 2010
By 
D. Bainbridge - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Captain Scott (Paperback)
An excellent well researched book giving a full and factual account about the hardship that was endured by such explorers as Scott. This is a book that will lead you on to other books of a similar nature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 16 Oct 2009
By 
A. Dobson (Blackburn, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Captain Scott (Paperback)
Could not put this book down. Ranulph Fiennes makes the case for Scott as a great hero, leader and inspiration to all. The book reads almost like a novel with its enchanting tales of daring do, with brave men risking everything by venturing into the unknown and paying the ultimate price. Fantastic rebuttal to those who have written polemics about Scott in the past.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a book that restores Scott's reputation !, 28 Nov 2004
By 
A. J. Sudworth "tonysudworth" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Captain Scott (Paperback)
This book is a biography of Captain Scott's ill fated attempt to reach the South Pole - but it does not read like a dry biography - more like a thriller. You know the ending but the way the story is written you get a real sense of just how close Scott came to getting home safely.
I would take the opinion of Ranaulph Fiennes on Scott over any of Scott's detractors because of what he has done himself - including a frank admission he would have died on one occaision but for modern communications.
This is a great story, well told , about a leader and his team who achieved so much in Antarctic exploration and died in the end attempting a feat of strength and courage that can rarely, if ever , be matched.
I'm delighted to have read this book and for its copious use of notes taken at the time to restore the reputation of a very brave man
Scotts last words in his note to the public make the book worth reading because they set his actions in context - read the book and see what I mean
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Storytelling, 5 Jan 2004
By 
This review is from: Captain Scott (Hardcover)
I have not taken the time to post a review at Amazon for some time but after reading this excellent biography I had to sit straight down and start typing. This new biography on Captain Scott by Ranulph Fiennes will rank in my top ten books for 2003. I have to confess that I have no in-depth knowledge on artic travel and exploration other than having read a few good books on the subject.
Having said that, out of the books that I have read on the subject this has to be the best so far. In any book I read I always have a look at the background (or pedigree) of the author. In this case Ranulph Fiennes has the personal experience of many years of artic travel & exploration to back up his claims and theories in his account of Captain Scott.
By referring to his own experiences in the same areas and similar circumstances you get a much better idea of what was possible and why and what wasn't possible and why. He is also able to put to rest many of the myths and fairy tales surrounding Scott's South Pole expedition and the fate of himself and his companions.
After finishing this book I really felt I had a much better understanding of what these brave men attempted and why they failed or didn't fail depending on your point of view. As other reviews have indicated, maybe the author tends to lean to Captain Scott's defence too much but then again maybe Captain's Scott's reputation needs to be picked up from the dust of history and given a good polish again, its well deserved.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone who wants to know what really happened to Captain Scott. Anyone who enjoys accounts of adventure, of man overcoming adversity or just a decent history book to read, this will suit them down-to-the-ground. I am indebted to the author for passing on his passion for this man, I have learnt a few things and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to read such a well-researched and well-written book, well done to Mr Fiennes!
From the back cover: "The real story of one of the greatest explorers who ever lived by the man described by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's greatest living explorer."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ranulph rates it!, 2 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Captain Scott (Paperback)
After a time when bashing role models was in vogue, it's great to read someone who knows what a role model should be. The question is, which is the best, really, Scott or Fiennes? Read on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Scott., 11 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Captain Scott (Paperback)
Oh! What an education. Explorers of today don't know they are born. The book is so graphic you can almost picture yourself there although it is hard to imagine not having the modern technology. Ranulph Fiennes himself is a wonderful man and has first hand experience of the hardships faced.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new viewpoint, 24 May 2013
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This review is from: Captain Scott (Kindle Edition)
First class in every respect. Such a good account of what really happened. I found it fascinating reading and would recommend it to anyone interested in those tragic events.
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Captain Scott
Captain Scott by Ranulph Fiennes (Paperback - 24 May 2004)
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