Antarctic Destinies: Scott, Shackleton and the Changing Face of Heroism.


Deals largely with the reversal of reputations of Scott’s decline and Shackleton’s growth throughout the 20th century, and the balancing of the two in the first decade of the 21st century. Unfortunately, this is a long book that should have been a short one. She insists on recounting the set pieces of all the voyages with individual chapters on the English expeditions (Discovery, Nimrod, Terra Nova, and Endurance), with minimal nods to Bruce, Filchner and others less preoccupied with the Pole that the two Englishmen. She tries hard to achieve a balance between the two but seems by the epilogue to be favoring late arguments on behalf of Scott, even when the arguments are weak (e.g. Fiennes claim that only one who has been there can assess Scott in the Antarctic). There is nothing that I found about reading or any non-curricular activity to help keep the men sane, though she suggests that a number went bonkers. A disappointing work which ignores the “destiny” of its title.