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The Voyage of the Discovery (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) Paperback – 17 Feb 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd (17 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840221771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840221770
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 537,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Here we have the thoughts of the man himself. A detailed account drawing on his own diary entries of the time, this is the story of the first Antarctic expedition of Captain Scott. Somewhere between well-intentioned amateur and heroic explorer, the text reveals the hopes and worries involved in exploring unknown territory in unknown conditions. Like us all, Scott comes across as a product of his times. Cheerfully unprepared but enthustiastically overcoming all obstacles with sheer determination this is the story of exploration in its golden era. Beautifully written, this was perhaps one of the first accounts to reveal the trials and tribulations of exploration and the inner character of the explorer himself. From first sightings of the pack ice, to skirmishing with icebergs, mapping coastlines, balloon trips, mastering sledging techniques, living in close quarters through two winters and even a cliff hanger finish, this story has it all. Scott manages to convince you that you are one of the expedition and privy to his confidence. Even if the fatal second expedition had never been undertaken, one feels that this book alone would have sealed Scott's place in the pantheon of great explorers.
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A masterful account of the daring, hardships, cameraderie and above all the scientific work carried out in Scott's first Antardtic expedition (1901-04). Given the technology back then, the lack of experience (not just of Scott, but virtually everyone) and the massive leap into the unknown, they did exceptionally well.
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.
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There has been much to enjoy in reading many of the great stories of the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration. This was a bit of an eye-opener. Much of the commentary you find now on Scott has more to do with his later expedition, where we know the tragic outcome. I've yet to read Scott's own diaries from that time, but I think I might give them a try, because it was wholly enjoyable to read this account of his first expedition between 1902 and 1904. There's more to it than simply a day-to-day diary of the expedition, although Scott does quote directly from his own diaries on many occasions. Those quotes are well-used though, to enliven a fascinating story.

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.
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very exciting read about one of the first expeditions to the South Pole. The Captain himselves gives a very detailed report of the first trip to the cold and unhabited South Pole. As all is explained in very detail you can almost feel how the men had experienced the cold climate, you can not imagine how -60 degrees must feel like.
Courageous, I really admire the people who did this expedtion for almost nothing, just for the adventure.
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The book is a tale of adventure, heroism and reliance on a person’s own resilience and the support of others.

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.
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