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Book Title: Scott of the Antarctic|
The author of the book: Elspeth Huxley
ISBN 13: 9780803272484
Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 7.8
The size of the: 16.99 MB
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Edition: University of Nebraska Press
Date of issue: February 1st 1990
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After Robert Peary claimed to have reached the North Pole in 1909, polar explorers looked toward the South. Robert Falcon Scott, whose 1901–1904 expedition into Antarctica's frozen shoulder had made him a celebrity in England, began plans to return. In June1910 the Terra Nova sailed toward the earth's underbelly.When Scott's party reached the South Pole on January 17,1912, after severe hardships, they discovered that the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beat them to it a month before. Demoralized, frozen, exhausted, and starved, they started to retrace their painful steps over the ice but were forced to stop only eleven miles from a supply depot. By a supreme act of will, the captain managed to write his last letters, which were found with the bodies in November.
Elspeth Huxley draws on those letters and diaries in her luminous biography. It reaches back to Scott's first voyage to the Antarctic, introduces the charming sculptor he married in middle age after a whirlwind of self-doubt, and builds up to the last expedition—a marvel of teamwork—that will always be remembered for the nobility shown by men facing death. The story of Robert Falcon Scott is all the more interesting because he was a complex, self-questioning man whose conquest of the self was "a feat perhaps more admirable than the conquest of the Pole."
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Read information about the authorElspeth Joscelin Huxley CBE was a polymath, writer, journalist, broadcaster, magistrate, environmentalist, farmer, and government advisor. She wrote 30 books; but she is best known for her lyrical books The Flame Trees of Thika and The Mottled Lizard which were based on her experiences growing up in a coffee farm in Colonial Kenya.
Nellie and Major Josceline Grant, Elspeth Grant's parents, arrived in Thika in what was then British East Africa in 1912, when she was 5 years old, to start a life as coffee farmers and colonial settlers. Flame Trees... explores how unprepared for rustic life the early British settlers really were. Elspeth was educated at a whites only school in Nairobi.
She left Africa in 1925, earning a degree in agriculture at Reading University in England and studying at Cornell University in upstate New York. Elspeth returned to Africa periodically, becoming the Assistant Press Officer to the Empire Marketing Board in 1929. She married Gervas Huxley, a cousin of Aldous Huxley in 1931. They had one son, Charles, who was born in February 1944. She resigned her post in 1932 and traveled widely. She was appointed an independent member of the Advisory Commission for the Review of the Constitution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (the Monckton Commission). An advocate of colonialism early in life, she later called for independence for African countries. In the 1960s, she served as a correspondent for the National Review magazine.
Most of Elspeth Huxley's writing reflects on her experiences growing up in Kenya and her continued interest in African development. Her output includes both novels and non-fiction: autobiography, travel writing, political exposition, biography, and journalism, produced throughout the latter half of the twentieth century—her book-publishing career alone spanned more than sixty years. Sympathising from the beginning with the white settlers and increasingly with the black Africans, with a professional background in agriculture as well as journalism, she became a skilled interpreter of Africa to the world outside, even while remembering that "no person of one race and culture can truly interpret events from the angle of individuals" who belong to a "different race and culture." This has not exempted her from later strong critique of her racial attitudes: attitudes which were normal, nearly inescapable, for her generation, her race, and her colonial identity.
As a professional she prided herself on being able to turn her pen to anything. Her polemical writing on environmental issues, for instance, deserves to be better known.
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