I Am Just Going Outside: Captain Oates—Antarctic Tragedy.

Interesting if not well-written biography of Titus Oates, emphasizing his patrician background, his dyslexia and reading and examination problems, his love for horses, and his distaste for Scott. The Oates family gave no cooperation to the book, presumably because it ends with “A second tragedy”, the story of an illegitimate daughter about whom Oates knew nothing. He clearly didn’t do a lot of reading but he had Napier’s History of the Peninsular War and was an admirer of Napoleon (see p. 102 and 245) and had his portrait at Cape Evans.

p. 197, writting his mother a last letter: “Can you please also send me ½ doz books so that I can start working on my major’s exam on the way home, these things should be addressed to Terra Nova at Lyttelton.”

p. 236, when the bodies of Scott etc were found, the rescue party conducted the burial: The eleven men stood bare-headed in the sub-zero temperatures, the burial service from Corinthians was read aloud and they sang ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ as the chilling wind nipped their exposed faces.

p. 241: at home at Gestingthorpe Oates’ mother converted the library “into a memorial chapel, which she filled with more Antarctic memorabilia lest anyone forget and each year on the anniversary of her son’s death, Caroline Oates would fly a flag from the roof of Gestinthorpe.” [An appropriate shift for the underread Oates.]