I May Be Some Time
Ice and the English Imagination
By Francis Spufford
Palgrave MacMillan Trade, Hardcover, 9780312174422, 388pp.
Publication Date: January 31, 2002
List Price: $90.00*
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Francis Spufford explores the British obsession with polar exploration in a book that Jan Morris, writing in The Times, called, "A truly majestic work of scholarship, thought and literary imagination..." The title, a last quote from one explorer to his party as he left their tent never to return, embodies the danger and mystery that fueled the romantic allure of the poles and, subsequently, the British imagination. Far from being a conventional history of polar exploration, I May Be Some Time attempts to understand what was going on in the minds of the polar explorers as they headed toward destinies like Terra Nova. Serving up a heady brew of Captain Perry, Jane Eyre, gastronomic obsessions with iced deserts, and the daily lives of the Eskimos, Spufford treats the reader to one of the most satisfying and imaginative contemporary works dealing with exploration and human need.