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Cheltenham in Antarctica: The Life of Edward Wilson Paperback – 11 Dec 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Reardon Publishing; 1st ed edition (11 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1873877455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1873877456
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1.1 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 361,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in Antarctica will be totally fascinated by this little book on Edward Wilson. Written by his great-nephew, it is the first biography to be published in over 50 years and includes previously unpublished family photos as well as beautiful reproductions of several of Wilson's paintings. Drawing on family archives, it reveals how this extraordinarily brave and compassionate man came to be Captain Scott's closest friend and one of the truly great names in the history of Antarctica. It includes fresh information on his early life and family background as well as publishing in full for the first time his last poignant letter to his wife as he and Scott lay dying on the Great Ice Barrier on their return from the South Pole. Readers interested in visiting sites around Cheltenham connected with him can follow a series of walks described at the back of the book.
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This is a brilliant book. Unpretentious, it masquerades as a mere booklet in support of the local museum in Cheltenham (which houses a small exhibition of artefacts of Edward Wilson's two excursions with Scott of the Antarctic), as well as the family archives.

But it is much more than that. It is written by Wilson's great nephew David Wilson and contains superb detail of Wilson's early life and subsequent times with Scott, as well as a plethora of family and more public photos and a host of Wilson's wonderful sketches and watercolour paintings. And it captures the essence of the man Wilson - his modesty - his lack of pretentiousness - his singular faith - and his ability to engender loyalty from friends and colleagues , by utilising telling excerpts from his diaries and anecdotes from those who knew him.

In fact, having enjoyed Seaver's and Isobel William's biographies of Wilson, I had thought an account of his life could get no better, but this surpasses them both.

And if you feel inspired to visit Cheltenham to seek out the world of Edward Wilson, the book even provides detail for a series of walks which guide you to the museum, to his statue, to his town houses and on to the farm at Crippetts where he spent such enjoyable times with his family and friends.

Excellently written - a super read.
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I have read several biographies of Edward Adrian Wilson and this is probably the best and most well-researched paperback available at such a reasonable price. It contains so much information and also a plentiful supply of colour and black and white photographs. Anyone interested in his life, and what ultimately led to his tragic death with four companions as they returned from the South Pole, will be hard pressed for anything better. Co-written by David Wilson, Edward's great nephew, it's an easy and fascinating read. Although, as its title suggests, it would seem mainly of interest to those in and around Cheltenham, it is worth reading by anyone on so many levels - the stages in his life which led to such a knowledge of the natural world, such a high standard of drawing and painting and the motivation and character to play such a pivotal role in two Antarctic expeditions. Thoroughly recommended.
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Having started carrying out some research on the life of Edward Wilson I was delighted to discover this excellent account of Dr Edward Wilson's life growing up in my hometown of Cheltenham. This book is full of old family and South Pole photographs and sketches drawn by "TED" as he was affectionately called by his friends. A very good read of a remarkable brave man.
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