No more heroes

Literary Review: The World's Most Famous Failure

[Scott of the Antarctic's] Message to the Public was an exemplar of national grit. "Had we lived," he wrote, "I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman." He kept it up until the famous last line: "It seems a pity but I do not think I can write any more"…

The whole script can be found in the latest edition of Scott's diary published by OUP, Journals: Captain Scott's Last Expedition. Ably introduced and edited by Max Jones, this is the full, unexpurgated thing. Scott, it seems, made a lot of rude comments about his companions that were suppressed when the diary was first published in 1913. At the same time, editors augmented his suffering by the rather transparent ploy of changing plus temperatures to minus.

Filed under: Nonsense

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

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