Ancestral Voices.

p. 31-32 describes a visit to Lord & Lady Kennet’s home in 1942: Lord Kennet was luckily in bed with bronchitis so we were alone. K as outgiving as ever. The first glimpse of her showed how she is ageing. Her figure is noticeably spread, and not mitigated by the shapeless, sacklike garments she always wears. She is the worst-dressed woman I know; and rejoices in a sort of aggressive no-taste in clothes and house.

…She said Cherry-Garrard was a poor creature, an ugly youth of 23 who was only accepted because his family advanced £1,000 towards the expedition… It appears that Cherry-Garrard submitted the first draft of his book to K., which she approved. One day . . .she introduced him to Bernard Shaw. Shaw looked through the manuscript, and persuaded C.-G… [to be] candid about his subject’s failings. C.-G. subsequently rewrote a great part of the book in which he dwelt upon Scott’s deficiency in humor and so forth. He did not submit the redraft to K. She maintains that Scott did have a sense of humor. I said, ‘I suppose he was a difficult man to live with, moodyand hard to understand.’ She said, ‘Yes, he was rather moody. In this respect Peter [Scott’s son] is superior to him.’ then in her gay manner, ‘But I knew him.’

Shackleton, she said, was rotten; bad blood and no good at all. He had promised Scott, who for a long time could not get released by the Admiralty to go south, that he would not use his base; then straight away went and did so, leaving the hut in an appalling mess, ‘but a disgusting mess in every respect’. . . The two men never spoke to one another again . . . Wilson, K said, was a prig, just like a private school boy with no humor whatever. He was a good-looking, honest fellow whom the simple sailors could not see through. Mrs. Wilson is still alive, and K described her as a drab female. Ponting was an artist who was all out for money….

She said it is true that the whole lot of them never snapped, or nagged at each other. In this respect they were splendidly controlled. The only one of the party Scott disliked was Evans (Ted). He said so in no measured terms in his journals. However, K thought it better to cut out the reference.

Scott hated the cold, she said.