Miscellaneous Materials.

While most of these texts record observations and actions, on three occasions Bartlett mentions his reading, an activity that explorers on other expeditions often used to stave off boredom. Lists of books read can indicate something about the mental life and preoccupations of figures who otherwise restrict their accounts to facts and action. A significant choice for Bartlett on this expedition was Bernacci’s book on the Antarctic xxxx, read on and about July 15 [1909], when Bartlett still believed that Peary’s Antarctic expedition would happen. On that day Bartlett records, “Commander was asking me about the new Antarctic ship, how I would wish her built. I told him how if it comes off, I will have some of my ideas put into practice.” Bartlett refers on June 11 to Robert Falcon Scott’s observation about grounded seals, but does not indicate whether this knowledge was from a recent reading experience (June 11) or from general knowledge. He also reported reading a novel by Elizabeth Robins, Come and Find Me, lent to him by Peary, that he did not enjoy (June 13th). “It’s a story something in the style of Man’s woman [by Frank Norris]. It’s rather a long spun out yarn. I did not care much about it.” This evaluation, coming from Bartlett, is somewhat surprising since Bartlett’s own natural style, seen in his later books as characterized by others, was exceedingly “spun out,” bordering on the garrulous.