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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scott's diaries
The authoritive reference for what happened on Scott's polar journey - since it was written by the man himself. Don't be put off by the appalling introduction by Bainbridge (which ruins the story if you don't know all the details since it is just a brief summary of the rest of the book - just skip it!). I wouldn't recommend reading this first (try Scott by Elspeth Huxley...
Published on October 5, 2000 by Robin

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why not read the unexpurgated version?
Why read this version, which has been heavily edited by multiple hands, when the original is now available, in the form of Huntford's Race for the South Pole: The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsen? Though I would suggest skipping Huntfords commentary and just reading the diaries, for the first reading at least. Like so many in this controversy, Huntford has become...
Published on February 4, 2011 by Regnut


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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scott's diaries, October 5, 2000
By 
Robin (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals (Paperback)
The authoritive reference for what happened on Scott's polar journey - since it was written by the man himself. Don't be put off by the appalling introduction by Bainbridge (which ruins the story if you don't know all the details since it is just a brief summary of the rest of the book - just skip it!). I wouldn't recommend reading this first (try Scott by Elspeth Huxley as an intro) but for historical interest if you get into the history of the antarctic this is a must. The actual description of the southern journey only makes up the final section of the book, most of it is concerned with the depot laying and over wintering parts of the expedition. As such most of the book is mostly concerned with the details of preparing for the journey and hence probably won't appeal as a general introduction to Scott's last expedition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dress warmly to read this one, July 12, 2002
This review is from: Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals (Paperback)
While the story is known to most armchair explorers, nothing beats the saga right from the horse's mouth. Yes, the journal does drag in places, but so do long days of waiting in the Antarctic. It makes us impatient and edgy, wondering if the storms will ever end or what equipment will break next. Knowing the climax detracts nothing from how they got there--or didn't. This and Shackleton's own story really have to be read if one enjoys this kind of tale.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary experience with an explorer of the Antarctic, April 6, 2010
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We had taken a trip to Antarctica on which lecturers referred often to Robert Scott. When we returned and I got this book, it became a reading experience like no other. Since everyone knows he and his men die at the end, that was not a surprise. The surprise was learning through the pages what would be the deciding factors that would ultimately cause their return to fail. Since I read thirty minutes a day, the unfolding drama read like a postcard from Scott to a sister or aunt telling events as they happened. Because it is a diary and includes the thoughts of a person, I came to know him like a friend. The book taught me how difficult it is to endure the challenges of Antarctica on a long term basis. It was an extraordinary experience with a book which I will always remember. May many others read this book and marvel at the character, motivation, determination and greatness of an amazing man.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars in spite of scott's mistakes, it was a haunting book, June 9, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals (Paperback)
Having read Beryl Bainbridge's "The Birthday Boys" first, I was curious to read the actual journals by the leader of this ill-fated expedtion to the South Pole. Yes, the diary format can be monotonous, but in a certain way it also serves to drive home the daily -- sometimes hourly -- struggles against every possible obstacle, from weather to poor planning to inappropriate equipment and animals to short rations to frozen oil. Scott strikes me as one of that vanished breed of Englishmen whose likenesses hang in the National Portrait Gallery who undertook all sorts of adventures in the name of science and exploration at the turn of the century and attempted to claim various "firsts" for the crown and greater glory of God and country. Wrongheaded though he may have been, this book really gripped me. When Scott and his disappointed, starving and sick companions freeze to death only miles from their last camp, it is truly tragic. Perhaps the factual nature of his journals makes the fate of this expedition even more poignant. The image of these men in their tent has been with me for several days now so the writing and the story clearly get to one. Amundsen wrote somewhere that Scott would be more remembered for what befell him that he himself would be for getting to the South Pole first. in fact, he was right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scott's book is one of the most poignant work of litterature you can pick up, February 17, 2011
You have to give credit when credit is due. Even if Robert Falcon Scott made tons of errors while leading the Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica, even if those errors resulted in human loss, boy, what an extraordinary, marvelous writer he was.

After reading tons of adventure and exploration books, you tend to appreciate real talent when you encounter it.
Robert Falcon Scott was a GREAT writer. This book is about the brutal expedition Scott lead to be the first human being at the South Pole. By now, I guess you all know he came in second to Roal Amundsen by mere weeks, and gave up his life (along with those of his 4 comrades) while trying to get back to Cape Evans.

What those poor, frozen, starving and sick human being went through is simply horrific. And Scott's writing more than draw a clear picture of what they experienced.

I suggest you read Scott's journals first. Then, if you really want to know WHY they died, you can pick up "The last place on earth" by Roland Huntford, which is another masterpiece in it's own right.

Scott's book is one of the most poignant work of litterature you can pick up.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why not read the unexpurgated version?, February 4, 2011
This review is from: Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals (Paperback)
Why read this version, which has been heavily edited by multiple hands, when the original is now available, in the form of Huntford's Race for the South Pole: The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsen? Though I would suggest skipping Huntfords commentary and just reading the diaries, for the first reading at least. Like so many in this controversy, Huntford has become a zealot and a bit hard to take.

BTW, there is a terrific amount of primary source Scott material on the net now, free for the taking, including the original SCOTT"S LAST EXPEDITION complete with nice period typesetting and original photos, no need to read third hand rehashes like this book.
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25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The "politically correct" version of the journals, January 18, 1998
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This review is from: Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals (Paperback)
Lady Scott and others heavily edited the journals in order to remove all hints of incompetence, as well as the mean-spirited comments about his men, Shackleton, Amundson, and others. Beware that the source of this book appears to be the heavily edited printing, not the original journals.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courage until the bitter end, March 19, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals (Paperback)
Whether these journals were edited or not is of small importance in the face of the challenge that these men attempted. Scarce few in this day could brave the monotony, much less the lack of conveniences and having to survive by their wits in an unforgiving environment. By the end, I felt as if I knew these men and I felt the loss as they weakened and succumbed to the ravages that nature wrought.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great explorer, discipline,beliver in himself and his men. Misssed depot by 11 miles, December 25, 2010
By 
Thomas Erickson (Lutz Fl and Felt Oklahoma) - See all my reviews
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Finished reading Cherry Garrard,s epic The Worst Journey in the World (5 star..see my review) describing his episode of the Penguin science learning expedition and about Captain Scott's last expedition in the Antarctic. I wanted more information on the actual polar march to the pole by Scott and 4 of his men.

Scott Journals...what a book. Super excellent 5 star. A few nice pictures too as well as many many notes to explain certain writings. Also a bibliography of names and accomplishments. Just a super excellent book.

We learn about Scott going up in rank in the Royal British navy and a little about his first expedition to Antarctica.
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We see the difficulty of him trying to raise money and support for a his third and unfortunately his last scientific and polar expedition. We see the hardships the crew had to endure and the coal burning ship ( the best he could get but barley adequate) used to reach Antarctica. We see the brutal cold endured.

Unfortunately Scott chose dogs, ponies and mechanical tractors to take to the pole as well as a huge scientific mission to study the animals, fossils and weather in Antarctica. Unfortunately INMO he spread himself and his men too thin trying to do too much.Plus in the beginning few were ski trained and many with no polar experience, not used to ponies and little experience with dog sledding. Many problems with the ponies, and dogs. The mechanical tractors didn't last long.

I gained much respect for captain Scott and his men. They all gave 110 percent helping each other and enduring intense cold and at times little food.

Scott desperately wanted to be the first to the South Pole and for the glory of England. Unfortunately he did not plain a direct run to the pole like Amundsen ( first to reach the pole, used all dogs and trained in dog sledding). Scott wanted a vast scientific expedition also.

Much was learned about Antarctic animals on land and in the sea as well as fossils and weather.

Unfortunately the weather was unexpectedly terrible going and coming back from the pole and Scott his men and got caught in a blizzard coming back from the pole. PO Evans died walking ( had a previous concussion and frostbit hands and feet), soldier Owens was dieing and deliberately walked out of the tent into a blizzard to give the 3 others maybe more food and so they wouldn't have to waste time carrying about him. Bowers and Dr Wilson die with Scott in the tent by freezing and starvation. Very brave men that faced life in Antarctica with good spirits and excepted death as well helping each other to the last and little complaining. They were not able to continue and missed a depot with more fuel and food that would of kept them alive longer by 11 miles.

I gained much empathy for Scott and his men. I felt their pain and suffering. A group of men later find their bodies and erect a tomb for them. The ending of Scott's diary is heartbreaking...pleading with any to help take care of the dead men's loved ones. Scott in his diary thanked everyone and showed no malice toward anyone. For me it was chilling and I shed a tear. A great group of men.

This is the perfect supplement to go with The Worst Journey in the World. Scott Journals a great book on Antarctic exploration, a great explorer, a man who loved his men, dogs and ponies but who INMO tried to do too much ( scientific expedition and fast run to pole) with not the best ship, inadequate training of skiing, dog and pony handling. Just doing too much with limited resources plus unexpected severe weather for the time of year going to the South Pole. Wonderful book on keeping "human" and helping one another all the way to death. Shows the goodness that can be in man's heart even under the worst hardships. 5 stars
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20 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Read "The Worst Journey In the World", April 2, 1998
By 
This review is from: Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals (Paperback)
I first read "The Worst Journey in the World", by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, a member of the 1910-1913 expedition, the most eloquent, lyrical, account of the various excursions of the Scott 1910 Expedition. Then, I read "Scott of the Antarctic" by Elspeth Huxley, who deified Scott and trashed Shackleton. I read Charles "Silas" Wright's Memoir and Diary, superbly edited and illustrated by his daughter, and I read "The Norwegian with Scott--Tryggve Gran's Antarctic Diary 1910-1913," translated by his daughter. All were excellent. Then, I started "Scott's Last Expedition--The Journals". The supreme disappointment: if you don't lose interest in the latitude/longitude references, you will go nearly mad at the ridiculously fraternizing descriptions of life in the Cape Evans Hut: no one just does anything; they do it "amazingly fine", "wonderfully fine", "with indefatigable strength and fortitude." Nobody is but the nth wonderful, extraordinary character, and we are told so until we are sick in the head way before abour page 250. Then, things get thick out on the glacier, and we go from the "Hail, fellow, well met", to a continuous whining, and I paraphrase the crying for weeks: it's too cold, it's too wet, it's too windy, it's too dry, --my god, it's too hot, not enough wind, until you wonder what could satisfy this fellow other than tropical air in Antarctica. I paraphrase an insightful comment by, I think, a screenwriter of the BBC series, when the Norwegian (I think), comments that anyone who comes to Antarctica and whines about the weather is unfit to lead. You have to agree. Still, one has to recognize and acknowledge Scott's strength of character in other ways, and when "we", who have read the diary, lose him at the end of the book, it truly is like losing a friend.
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Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals
Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals by Robert Falcon Scott (Paperback - Dec. 1996)
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