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RECOGNITION - DESERVED,
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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.