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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars P.O Edgar Evans Explorer Biography Review, 18 Jan 2012
This review is from: Captain Scott's Invaluable Assistant: Edgar Evans (Paperback)
Excellent new biography on P.O Edgar Evans Antarctic explorer. A must read for anyone interested in the human spirit and the heroic exploration age, gives a new perspective from the working class viewpoint. Evans was a key member of both Captain Scott's Antarctic expeditions and this book if the first to give a full and balanced account of his life and work. Glimpses of this man's extraordinary talent are seen in several books such as Scott's Last Expedition, Frank Debenham's Quiet land and With Scott The Silver Lining. This book gives detail to all Evan's stories, education and journeys with extensive detail in a very readable style. P.O Evans finally receives the praise due in print, 100 years after setting foot at the South Pole. A true hero and fascinating story. A must read for all new and old adventure enthusiasts. Approaching the century of his death, more people should be aware of his legacy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RECOGNITION - DESERVED, 12 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Captain Scott's Invaluable Assistant: Edgar Evans (Paperback)
At the centenary of Scott's heroic but ill-fated attempt to reach the South Pole first, this is a timely book in recognition of much 'neglected' member of his 5-man polar team.

Edgar Evans was described by Scott as, 'A giant worker - he is responsible for every sledge, every sledge-fitting, tents, sleeping-bags, harness, and when one cannot recall a single expression of dissatisfaction with any one of these items, it shows what an invaluable assistant he has been."

Edgar had initially served and impressed Scott on the 'Discover Expedition' (1903-04). Such was the respect that Scott personnally invited him to join the 'Terra Nova Expedition' (1910-1913) - despite Scott having no shortage of volunteers - over 8000 applied to join. So why has Edgar been 'neglected'.

This is what Isobel Williams sets out to explore. In carefully setting out the evidence, she reveals how Edgar quickly became the scapegoat for Scott's failure to return. Being the first of the polar party to die, Edgar's death and the possible causes are examined with some authority by the author who is a retired doctor. The result, well for me Edgar Evans is as much the hero as his four colleagues (and I am sure they would have wished it so).

Thankfully, through this book the injustices of the past 100 years towards Edgar and his family are being exposed and he is rightly being elevated to the position he so clearly deserves. Isobel Williams concludes her book, "He died as he had lived - doing his best." For me he did far more than his best - he gave his life in the service of others - a true Hero. Read the book, enjoy it and see what you think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing and facinating read, 9 Jan 2013
This take on a traditional story is brilliant and revealing - Williams brings a fresh perspective by challenging the norm. In this version we understand more about Edgar Evans and his qualities as an unsung hero, leaving us looking at his role in the expedition in a completely different way. Williams suggests there were many other factors that played a part in the deaths of his team mates and highlights the failure of other reporters (of that time and now) to explore the full version of the truth. Incredibly interesting and well worth the read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edgar Evans, the "Welsh Giant", his story., 2 May 2012
This review is from: Captain Scott's Invaluable Assistant: Edgar Evans (Paperback)
This is a biography of Petty Officer Edgar Evans, who was one of Captain Scott's team on the final push for the Pole in 1912. It is a rattling good story. It is of particular interest because it shines a light on English social attitudes before the First World War. Evans was the only non-officer member of the team. He was the first to die on the terrible journey back from the pole. At the time the press and some members of the public attributed his collapse and death to a lack of moral fibre and education compared with his companions who were all officers. They were "Gentlemen"; Evans was not. Furthermore, the death of Scott and the other three members of the party were blamed on the delay caused by Evans' death.
Dr Williams puts the record straight. She describes Evans' background, and his upbringing in South Wales, which was tough. Scott chose him for the final push because of his strength and ability. In the light of modern knowledge his death was probably due to a combination of a septic wound, dehydration and starvation.
A sad story but very interesting and a very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Redressing the balance for Edgar Evans, 30 April 2012
This review is from: Captain Scott's Invaluable Assistant: Edgar Evans (Paperback)
This refreshing appraisal of Edgar Evans and his contribution to both of Scott's expeditions is most welcome. Isobel Williams has clearly researched the material extremely well and her book does much to redress the balance of opinion concerning Evans and the `supposed' difficulties arising from the composition of the 1911 south pole party. Highly recommended reading for all interested in polar matters.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Scott's Invaluable Assistant: Edgar Evans, 23 May 2012
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This review is from: Captain Scott's Invaluable Assistant: Edgar Evans (Paperback)
This book was so well researched - and indeed well written - that I found it fascinating, informative, interesting and a wonderful observation on life, and society as it was in those class-ridden days. I also enjoyed the medical observations and conclusions, which would certainly account for Edgar's final demise and the reasons for his death. I still find it quite staggering that these men pulled their heavy sledges so far over such inhospitable terrain - especially considering the unsuitable clothing etc. that they had, as well as the inadequate nutrition [which the author[ess] so ably pointed out] which clearly was unable to sustain them on their trek. A truly memorable read, and many congratulations to the author[ess].
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Captain Scott's Invaluable Assistant: Edgar Evans
Captain Scott's Invaluable Assistant: Edgar Evans by Isobel Williams (Paperback - 1 Jan 2012)
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