David Crane has given us a magisterial portrait of one of Britain's greatest heroes and explorers, acclaimed as the 'masterpiece' on the subject. Reissued for the 100th anniversary of Scott's doomed expedition.
'It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more…For God's sake look after our people.'
These were the final words written in Scott's diary on 29 March 1912, as he lay dying of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold, in his tent on his return journey from the South Pole. Since then he has been the subject of many books. Yet in all the pages that have been written about him, the personality behind the legend has been forgotten or distorted beyond all recognition.
David Crane's magisterial biography redresses this completely. By reassessing Scott's life and his substantial scientific achievements, Crane is able to provide a fresh and exciting perspective on both the Discovery expedition of 1901-4 and the Terra Nova expedition of 1910-12. The courage and tragedy of Scott's last journey are only one part of the process, for the scientific enquiry that led up to it transformed the whole nature and ambition of Antarctic exploration.
Written with the full support of Scott's surviving relatives, and with access to the voluminous diaries and records of key participants, this definitive biography sets out to reconcile the very private struggles of the man with the very public life of extremes that he led.
"Many have trodden this path before but this is the masterpiece."
– Gildes Foden
"Moving [...] a balanced and gripping account [...] David Crane has written a fine biography of Scott, the flawed but timeless hero, and I read it all with pleasure."
"He [Crane] has freed himself from the tyranny of the card index to let Scott live again as a man."
– Daily Telegraph
"Compelling [...] impressive [...] moving [...]"
– Sunday Telegraph
"Crane's exhilarating biography avoids the excesses of either approach, humanising the man without diminishing his epic endeavour. As the end nears, Crane turns to the men's dignified accounts of their ordeal. It is as Scott prophesied: no heart could remain unstirred."
"The most balanced biography yet. Like Scott's own writings, Crane's stylish prose is a sheer pleasure."
– New York Times