A First-Rate Tragedy: Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole

by Diana Preston

Hardcover, 1998

Call number




Houghton Mifflin (1998), 304 pages


On November 12, 1912, a rescue team trekking across Antarctica's Great Ice Barrier finally found what they sought - the snow-covered tent of the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott. Inside, they made a grim discovery: Scott's frozen body lay between the bodies of two fellow explorers. They had died just eleven miles from the depot of supplies which might have saved them. The remaining two members of the party were nowhere in sight, but Scott's eloquent diary soon revealed their fate. They, like the others, had perished in nightmarish circumstances after successfully reaching the South Pole. The elusive character of Scott, in whom incredible courage was fatally matched by self-doubt and miscalculation, continues to haunt the popular imagination. Why did Scott's meticulously laid plans finally end in disaster, while his rival, Norwegian Roald Amundsen, returned safely home with his crew after attaining the Pole only days before the British team?… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member hockeycrew
Excellent book about the race for the South Pole. Paints a very good picture of the political motivations at the time for the rush to the south pole
LibraryThing member jrbeach
I thought it was a very balanced and unbiased view of Scott's journey to the South Pole. I'm I fan of polar literature, but haven't read anything in a while. It seemed to me this book had more excerpts from diaries and other sources that some of the other books i've read.




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