The Voyage of the “Scotia” Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration in Antarctic Seas. By Three of the Staff.


An account by various authors of the Scotia Expedition of 1902-04, led by Robert Speirs Bruce. The Preface, signed by the three authors [Brown, R.C. Mossman, and J.H. Pirie], gives some flavor of one unusual aspect of the Scotia voyage, a Scottish expedition in direct scientific competition with Scott: “There is still a lurking tendency to judge an expedition of exploration largely by the sensational character of its adventures, and to crown with plaudits of approval men who can lay claim to have escaped half a dozen times from a near and overshadowing death. Every expedition—particularly those to such unknown and inhospitabl regions as the Antarctic—must of course meet with its full quota of adventure, but Polar seas are not the place to court it, and to play with death a such close quarter’s is but a fool’s game…, but the fewer adventures the more content must the really earnest explorer be, and it may be very truly said that the less sensation a traveller has to recount the better and more far-seen were his preparations. And this is the only apology that the authors would offer should the reader regret that they were not more frequently at death’s door during the two years of the Scotia’s voyage.” That could appear a self-serving way of explaining the less dramatic but very solid scientific accomplishments of this expedition when compared with those of Scott, Mawson, and Shackleton.