A completely adulatory semi-biography, much from Scott’s writings. Ex:
Re Discovery crew: The fact that these officers lived in complete harmony for three years was proof enough that they were well and wisely chosen…. [We now know better, from Armitage to Shackleton.]
p. 78, Sunday routine ashore in 1902: After this inspection of both ship and men, the mess-deck was prepared for church; harmonium, reading-desk and chairs were all placed according to routine, and the bell was tolled. Scott read the service, Koettlitz the lessons, and Royds played the harmonium.
p. 83, from Scott’s diary: ‘I find that after my labours at the wash-tub and the pleasing supper that follows, I can safely stretch myself out in a chair without fear of being overcome by sleep, and so, with ever-soothing pipe and one’s latest demand on the library book-shelves, one settles down in great peace and contentment whilst keeping an eye on the flying hours, ready to sally forth into the outer darkness at the appointed time.
p. 87: a June play called ‘The Ticket of Leave’ was followed by Royds’ nigger minstrel troupe.
p. 160: brief account of the loss of ‘Hints to Travellers’ which Scott needed to work out his position: ‘If,’ he says, ‘the loss of our “Hints to Travellers” did not lead us into serious trouble it caused me many a bad half-hour.’
p. 162, during blizzard on sledge journey: In Scott’s tent there was one book, Darwin’s ‘Cruise of the Beagle,’ and first one and then another would read this aloud, until frozen fingers prevented the pages from being turned over.
p. 286, May 22: The night was spent in Shackleton’s hut, where a good quantity of provisions was found; but the most useful articles that the party discovered were five hymn-books, for hitherto the Sunday services had not been fully choral because seven hymn-books were all that could be mustered.
p. 290: Then came reading, writing, games, and usually the gramophone, but three nights of the week were given up to lectures. At 11 PM the acetylene lights were put out and those who wished to stay up had to rely on candle-light.
p. 295: ‘I came across a hint as to the value of a double tent in Sverdrup’s book, “New Land,” ’ Scott wrote on June 20, ‘and P.O. Evans had made a lining for one of the tents, it is secured on the inner side of the poles and provides an air space inside the tent. I think it is going to be a great success.’