I May Be Some Time
Ice and the English Imagination
By Francis Spufford
(Palgrave Macmillan, Hardcover, 9780312174422, 388pp.)
Publication Date: November 1997
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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.
Francis Spufford, hailed as a member of Britain’s new literary generation, has edited two acclaimed anthologies The Chatto Book of Cabbages and Kings: Lists in Literature and The Chatto Book of The Devil.