Tragedy and Triumph: the Journals of Captain R. F. Scott’s Last Polar Expedition.

These journals include rather little on reading. The expedition’s lecture series implies a good library available to the lecturers, all 13 of them. Subjects included mostly scientific matter: parasitology, scurvy, polar clothing, sledging diets, motor sledges, geology, volcanoes, surveying, Lololand, biology, horse management, Burma, China, India, Japan; Scott himself lectured on the icebarrier and inland ice, and on plays for the Southern Journey. Other topics were coronas, hales, rainbows and auroras, general meteorology, the Beardmore glacier, physiography, flying birds, penguins, ice problems, radium, and the constitution of matter. [see index p. 511-12]

p. 97: the diagram of Scott’s hut shows bookshelves in Scott’s cabin.

p. 173, Scott’s sketch of life at Hut Point: An hour or so after supper we tail off one by one, spread out our sleeping-bags, take off our shoes and creep into comfort…. Thanks to the success of the blubber lamps and to a fair supply of candles, we can muster ample light to read for another hour or so, and so tucked up in our furs we study the social and political questions of the past decade.

p. 183, the cabin of biologists Nelson and Day in his tidiness had “books neatly arranged.”

p. 193: Had Divine Service. Have only seven hymn-books, those brought on shore for our first Service being very stupidly taken back to the ship.

p. 224: After a cup of cocoa there was nothing to detain us, and we started back, the only useful articles added to our weights being a scrap or two of leather and five hymn-books. Hitherto we have been only to muster seven copies; this increase will improve our Sunday Services.

p. 259, description of South Polar Times: It is a very good little volume, bound by Day in a really charming cover of carved venesta wood and sealskin. The contributors are anonymous, but I have succeeded in guessing the identity of the greater number….

p. 318—second volume of SPT— “on the whole an improvement on the first.”

p. 490, March 12 note gives Wilson entry about Scott’s Hut: Thawed out some old magazines and picture papers which were left here by the Discovery, and gave us very good reading.