Return to Antarctica: The Amazing Adventure of Sir Charles Wright on Robert Scott's Journey to the South Pole
Written by Adrian Raeside.
Published by John Wiley Sons & Canada, Ltd., 2009.
|By 1910, the Antarctic was the last place on earth that had never
been explored, and British naval officer Robert Scott was obsessed that an
Englishman - specifically himself - should conquer the pole. Despite being
under-funded, under-equipped and unprepared, Scott sailed south in the
antiquated whaling ship, Terra Nova, in what everyone assumed would be a
cracking good adventure.
The expedition was made up entirely of British adventurers, gadabouts and scientists, the exception being one Canadian, Charles Seymour (Silas) Wright. Born 1887 in Toronto, Charles Wright was studying physics in Cambridge when he heard Scott was looking for a physicist to join the expedition to the pole. By the time Wright inquired, Scott had chosen a physicist for the team but was short a glaciologist. Who else but a Canadian would know about glaciers? Wright became the expedition's glaciologist. Halfway through the rough passage to the Antarctic, Scott got word that a rival explorer, Norwegian Roald Amundsen, was also making a run for the pole and was close on their heels. What started out as a stroll to the South Pole became a race between two very determined and different men.
Return to Antarctica will transport the reader to the very time and place of the Scott expedition through the eyes of Charles Wright, whose diaries and notes were handed down to his grandson, Adrian Raeside. In the Antarctic summer of 2008-2009, Raeside travelled to Antarctica to retrace his grandfather's footsteps and to gain perspective on an adventure of a century ago that challenged men's courage, strength and sanity. Raeside's story telling, supported by revelations from previously unpublished accounts, drawings and photographs, does admirable justice to the legacy of the men who literally followed Robert Scott to the ends of the earth.
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