The Quiet Land: The Diaries of Frank Debenham, Member of the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913.

On Debenham’s experience of the Scott expedition and its tragic end. It was he who suggested that excess funds in the memorial Appeal be used for an institute of Polar research and he became SPRI’s first Director, an unpaid position which he held from 1920 to 1946.

p. 21: We have been having a go at navigation and it’s a bit mixing as the books I have been using have different terms and methods to those used here.

p. 83: The scenery was beautiful of its type. The river runs through the moraine-covered ice…and then dodged under the ice for a while. We called it the Alph river from Coleridge’s poem, consistently mis-quoted by Griff, as ‘In Kubla Khan, a river ran…’.

p. 100, May 1, 1911: Tonight saw the start of the series of winter lectures on scientific subjects. Bill [Wilson], as the chief of Scientific staff, began with a lecture on ‘Antarctic Birds’. Unfortunately Bill read the lecture and so it was not as good as if he had just used notes.”

p. 121, Oct. 6, 1911: That particular blizzard lasted for 60 hours and we got pretty sick of the sleeping bags, especially as there were no books and nought to do but sleep, which I for one could not do.

p. 141, March 12, 1912: Charles has shipped his pendulums into the darkroom. He is sitting beside me reading The Rosary and is absolutely absorbed—you have to hit him with a hammer to get an answer.

p. 159: Have put him [Archer] to sorting out all the books in the hut which is rather a good idea as he reads as he goes along.

p. 163, Dec. 6, 1912: Snowing hard but very little wind. Reading and sleeping all day—rotten.