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The Voyage of the Discovery (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) Paperback – 17 Feb 2009
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Top customer reviews
With hindsight, much of what's here could appear as a classic story of British stiff upper lip and derring-do in the slightly shambolic way that some would describe as typically British. The accounts of this expedition trying to work with sledge-dogs are almost sad now, when read in the aftermath of Amundsen's later expedition which treated the dogs in a much less sentimental way. It's clear that Scott did as much as he could to seek advice on polar travel from such experts as there were, but he obviously missed out a bit with the dogs. It's no surprise really that he put such little faith in dogs on his later expedition. However, he makes no secret of his naivety in many important aspects. There are many examples where he writes quiet openly about the mistakes that he made in planning or leadership, but it's equally clear to me that he did his best to learn from those mistakes.
Much of the most enjoyable writing here concerns not the day to day account of the travels, but the chapters giving more in-depth accounts - in particular, that on details of sledge-travelling, life in a tent at -30C, the food they ate and the general daily routine. In addition, Scott was a great observer and describer of the landscape in which he was travelling. Whilst this particular edition is almost without photographs, in many ways Scott's own descriptive powers make up for that.
This is most certainly a book that should be read by anyone with an interest in the early history of Antarctic travel and exploration.
This expedition kick started the 'heroic age' of Antarctic exploration.
The book is a gripping account by the expedition's leader. It is quite a long book, but I sped through it. With its wealth of detail it really makes you feel as through you were there.
My only slight niggle is the lack of maps. This may not have been a problem with the original 2 volume edition, but this is a reprint of a later slightly abridged one volume version. However, this minor defect can easily be rectified by maps from the internet.
In a day and age when we are looking to have films and books that will excite and stimulate our imagination, this is a book about a true life experience, that can grip even those who have previously not had any interested in polar exploration.
Captain Scott’s description of the day to day challenges and survival for 3 years when Discovery was frozen into the ice is well written and easy reading.
Whatever your view of Scott is, this book is interesting reading.
Courageous, I really admire the people who did this expedtion for almost nothing, just for the adventure.
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