Since posting a 1905 signed first edition of Robert Falcon Scott’s The Voyage of Discovery a couple weeks ago, I have been meaning to post two other works associated with Scott, both dealing with his final Antarctica expedition. The first is Journals – Captain Scott’s Last Expedition, published in 2009 as part of Easton Press’s Greatest Adventure Series. The second is from this same EP series, it being The Worst Journey in the World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, a member of Scott’s final expedition. Outside of EP’s fantastic Famous Edition series, the Greatest Adventure series probably comes closest to being EP’s best work (outside of their Deluxe Limited Editions), with both of these Scott related books being excellent examples.
Like many, I am fascinated by Scott’s expeditions, especially the last. Journals – Captain Scott’s Last Expedition contains Scott’s journals from his his ill-fated 1910-1912 Antarctica expedition, called the Terra Nova expedition after the ship he used. His journals contain remarkable adventure and spectacular tragedy. They are truly engrossing. While Scott and his team did ultimately reach the South Pole, they were to discover that Roald Amundsen of Norway had beat them to it. On the return journey, Scott was to die of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold, along with four members of his expedition. The journals take you right up to his death, where Scott bravely writes “It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. For God’s sake look after our people.”
EP’s Greatest Adventure series books tend to have many extras, i.e., good introductions, photo’s, decent appendices with supporting information. Journals – Captain Scott’s Last Expedition is one of the best in this regard, with numerous photographs, nicely reproduced. There is an excellent and informative introduction by Max Evans, a publication history, bibliography and preface all prior to the start of the Journals. At the end of the book is nearly 100 pages of appendices, explanatory notes, a glossary and an index.
Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959) was a survivor of the Terra Nova Expedition. His historical account of the expedition, The Worst Journey in the World, is a deservedly acclaimed work. It is often thought of as one of the greatest true adventure stories ever written. Reading it alongside of Scott’s Journals is fascinating, giving the reader different perspectives on the expedition. Cherry-Garrard’s description of finding the frozen tent and the bodies of Scott and his companions is riveting. While not quite as stacked with extras as the EP of Scott’s Journals, The Worst Journey in the World does contain many photographs, drawings by Cherry-Garrard and a nice fold out map of the route of the Terra Nova.
Pictures of Journals – Captain Scott’s Last Expedition
Pictures of The Worst Journey in the World