This year, on the anniversary of the race between Scott and Amundsen to the South Pole, there have been all kinds of commemorations of the event, and more than a dozen books (some of them re-issues of older titles). In Search of the South Pole is by far the best of the bunch; not only does it set the events of 1911 in a rich historical context, but it epitomizes the character and ideals of both Scott and Amundsen more richly than any other book I know. The men's own words are here in abundance, along with insightful commentary and a final section that recounts the events of that fateful year with all the beauty and terror intrinsic to the tale. On top of all this, it's gorgeously illustrated, with beautiful reproductions of expedition photographs, images of many of the actual items used by the explorers, and a generous array of all kinds of printed ephemera from the period. Herbert and Lewis-Jones bring their personal and professional expertise to bear on the essential elements of this great drama, and it rings out so clearly it's almost as if one has never heard it before. There is no better book on the quest for the South Pole.
This is a beautifully written and produced book, with excellent images and facsimiles of historic documents. The authors have really conveyed the challenges and difficulties face by the South Pole explorers and pioneers over the last 100 plus years. As someone who has been to Antarctica on several occasions, this book takes pride of place in my polar book collection.
This is an excellent book, not least in that it contains lots of images, including landscape photos (of Antarctica), portraits of some of the early voyagers who went there and images of artifacts. What's new about this book compared to others I've read, is that it gives a nice contextual history to the South Pole expeditions in the early twentieth century - a history which I, for one, had known nothing about. Also, the excerpts from diaries and other early accounts of those who first ventured south are very well chosen and give a vivid picture of what those involved thought and felt at the sight of such a remote and hostile place.