Scott of the Antarctic
By David Crane
(Vintage, Paperback, 9781400031412, 608pp.)
Publication Date: November 6, 2007
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Historian David Crane, with full access to the explorer’s papers, diaries, and expedition records, gives us an illuminating portrait of Robert Falcon Scott that is more nuanced and balanced than any we have had before.
In reassessing Scott’s life, Crane is able to provide a fresh perspective on not only the Discovery expedition of 1901—4 and the Terra Nova expedition of 1910—13, but his remarkable scientific achievements and the challenges of his tumultuous private life. Neither foolhardy dilettante, nor the last romantic champion of his age, Scott is presented as a man of indomitable courage and questionable judgment. The result is an absolutely compelling portrait of a complicated hero.
David Crane read history and English at Oxford University before becoming a lecturer at universities in Holland, Japan, and Africa. He lives in northwest Scotland.
“A compelling narrative drive. . . . It’s all here: Scott and his party lost on the featureless Antarctic plateau; Scott falling into a crater; frostbite, snow blindness, the unimaginable cold.”
“Masterly. . . engrossing. . . . The most balanced biography [of Scott] yet. . . . Crane’s stylish prose is a sheer pleasure.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“A volume of its own epic proportions, using a historian’s depth and research perspective, leaving few stones unturned in pursuit of painting a thorough picture of the times and the intrigue and pressures of mounting such ventures.” —The Providence Journal
“Exhaustive. . . . [Crane] finds in Scott not a hapless adventurer but a hero for our times.”—Men’s Vogue