Andrew Taylor

The Price of Heroism

Captain Scott

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The Last Great Quest: Captain Scott's Antarctic Sacrifice

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Oxford University Press 352pp £20 order from our bookshop

EXPLORATION, AS SIR Ranulph Fiennes reminds us several times, has changed radically since the grim sledge-pulling days of Scott of the Antarctic. One is tempted to note that it isn’t just the satellite navigation devices, the snowmobiles, and the communication systems that are different: across the back of the dust jacket, Sir Ranulph is trumpeted as ‘the world’s greatest living explorer’, a piece of twenty-first-century PR-inspired hype that the diffident Scott and his small band of heroes would have found deeply embarrassing. Modesty is as outdated today as the heavy wooden skis with which the explorers of 19 12 struggled across the snow to their deaths.

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