Edward Wilson of the Antarctic: Naturalist and Friend.

Although Wilson was known to be an assiduous reader, as well as deeply religious, not much of his reading appears in this biography. Here are a few related references:

p. 96, on the first winter of the Discovery expedition: The pianola was in constant use except when Royds, the only musician, played from the great composers…, or when concerts were arranged at which these two friends [Wilson and Royds] invariably sang duets.

p. 97: After dinner a Tennyson v. Browning competition which resulted from a discussion as to their respective merits yesterday. Shackle upheld Browning and Bernacci Tennyson. Each had to choose a passage from his own author on various subjects such as Love, Science, Philosophy, Wit, Art, Beauty. They read these out to us and we voted. Tennyson won by several votes.

p. 97-98—Wilson’s work as artist for South Polar Times.

p. 130, on Cape Crozier trip: The blizzard broke on the 22nd [1903], and continued for ten days, during seven of which they were imprisoned in their sleeping-bags: Wilson beguiling these long hours of cold wet misery by re-reading Tennyson’s ‘Maud,’ an old favourite of Caius days, the feeling and phrasing of which now touched him with a deeper significance than formerly.

p. 135: quotes Psalms in his diary.

p. 160, 1907, between trips: Since he could never find time to refresh his mind with reading, his wife read to him while he skinned or sketched. Of any novel of Dickens he confessed that he dared not open it, for he could not put it down.