The Last Great Quest

The Last Great Quest : Captain Scott's Antarctic Sacrifice

3.7 (20 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Scott's last Antarctic expedition is one of the great adventure stories of the twentieth century. On 1 November 1911, a British team set out on the gruelling 800-mile journey across the coldest and highest continent on earth to the South Pole. Five men battled through unimaginably harsh conditions only to find the Norwegian flag planted at the Pole just weeks before. Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Lieutenant Henry Bowers, Petty Officer Edgar Evans, Captain Lawrence Oates, and Dr Edward Wilson all died on the return trek, starved and frozen to death, only eleven miles from a supply camp. In November 1912, a rescue party discovered their last letters and diaries, which told a story of bravery, hardship, and self-sacrifice that shocked the world. Recent decades have seen controversy rage over whether Scott was the last of a line of great Victorian explorers, intent on discovering uncharted lands, or a hopeless incompetent driven by personal ambition. Rejecting the stereotypes, Max Jones reveals a complex figure, a product of the passions and preoccupations of an imperial age. He also shows how heroes are made and manipulated, through a close examination of the unprecedented outpouring of public grief at the news of the death of Scott and his companions. Max Jones uses fascinating new evidence and previously unseen illustrations to take us back to this remarkable moment in modern history to tell for the first time, the full story of The Last Great Quest.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 161 x 246.4 x 35.3mm | 757.51g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 32pp halftone plates
  • 0192804839
  • 9780192804839

Table of contents

LIST OF PLATES; LIST OF FIGURES; ABBREVIATIONS; 1. Measuring the World; 2. The Race to the South Pole; 3. Disaster in the Antarctic; 4. Remembering the Dead; 5. 'Martyrs of Science'; 6. 'For the Honour of our Country'; 7. 'These Were Men'; 8. 'So Many Heroes'; Epilogue; APPENDIX; NOTES; FURTHER READING; INDEXshow more

Review Text

Using newly-found evidence and with a wealth of previously-unseen photographs, historian Peter Rex looks again at the tragic last adventure of Captain Robert Falcon Scott. The explorer and his party died in the Antarctic in 1911, having learned to their bitter disappointment that a Norwegian group had beaten them to become the first people to reach the South Pole. Since then a great myth industry has sprung up around Scott and his friends. Theirs is a tale of unbelievable suffering and courage, and above all of self-sacrifice. But was Scott the last of the great explorers or an incompetent driven by vanity and overweening ambition? Opinions tend to be fiercely divided over that question - a question that underpins this book. Jones examines all the evidence and comes to some surprising conclusions that strip away many of the myths surrounding Scott's legacy. A highly readable and absorbing account. (Kirkus UK)show more

Review quote

a mesmerising and superbly researched book Beryl Bainbridge, The Spectator a fascinating and wide-ranging study Anthony Sattin, The Sunday Times A meticulous examination...weaving record, anecdote and example with great skill, with some remarkable conclusions Duncan Spencer, Washington Times Jones sets out to disentangle the various strands of the Scott adventure. He is illuminating, too, on the evolution of exploration Justin Marozzi, Sunday Telegraph well written...likely to appeal to a wide audience Publishing News Excellent: the first serious historical account of Scott's ill-fated expedition David Cannadine The Last Great Quest throws a fascinating light on the Scott myth Andrew Taylor, Literary Review valuable and fascinating... Robert Carver, Times Literary Supplementshow more

About Max Jones

Max Jones is Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Manchester . He has published various articles on Scott, and was the "talking head" for A&E's documentary on Shackelton.show more

Rating details

20 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 20% (4)
4 45% (9)
3 25% (5)
2 5% (1)
1 5% (1)
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