In keeping with our "Around the World" theme, expert bookseller Neil Cournoyer of Ottawa has chosen this month's featured collectible book: the first-hand account of Captain R.F. Scott's journey to the Antarctic in 1900.

Scott's Last Expedition
Image courtesy of RFG Hollett & Son. Find This Edition

Scott's Last Expedition: Vol I - Being The Journals of Captain R. F. Scott; Vol II - Being the Reports of the Journeys and the Scientific Work Undertaken by Dr. E. A. Wilson and the Surviving Members of the Expedition.
SCOTT, Captain R. F.

London. Smith, Elder, 1913. Two volume set. 1st edition. pp xxvi, 633; xvi, 534. T.e.g with other edges untrimmed. Illustrated with photogravure frontispieces, 6 sketches in photogravure, 18 colour plates, and 260 full page and smaller photos, double page panoramas, and eight folding maps.

$825 or less [Find This Book]

Captain Robert Falcon Scott was an officer in the Royal Navy, but is best remembered for his Antarctic explorations. In 1900, he embarked on the “Discovery Expedition”. Among his other accomplishments he was able to claim to have reached furthest South of any other explorer.

His next (and final) expedition (1910) accomplished much more. Scott set his sites on the South Pole. His reasons were certainly nationalistic, but were also motivated by the desire to be the first to conquer the last great land mass, not to mention his rivalry with two other great names of Antarctic exploration: Ernest Shackleton & Roald Amundsen.

In fact, Scott found himself in a race when he heard news that Amundsen had a head start. Although Scott was determined to reach the Pole, he didn’t abandon his scientific objectives and gathered much information on zoology, geology and meteorology. Scott and his men achieved the Pole, but found that Amundsen had been there weeks earlier. On his return, Scott and his entire party perished in extreme weather conditions. His camp was discovered some months later.

Scott’s Last Expedition... is one of the last great books of exploration. Even today, Antarctica is virtually unknown, except to a handful of people. Scott’s sacrifice has elevated him to the level of legend and hero. This book represents the last heroic age of exploration. Handsomely produced and profusely illustrated, it typifies the spirit of exploration before the onslaught on WWI and the coming of the modern age.

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