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Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  821 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Centenary of Captain Scott's expedition to the South Pole. This is 'the most gripping story of polar exploration ever written.'
âSir Ranulph Fiennes.
The Last Expedition is Captain Scott's gripping account of his expedition to the South Pole in 1910-12. It was meant to be a voyage of scientific discovery and a heroic exploration
Paperback, 442 pages
Published September 27th 1996 by Carroll & Graf Publishers (first published 1913)
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Community Reviews

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Well, I didn’t know what it would be like. I’m Australian, I’ve never seen fucken snow before. So I took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and here I am, in Geneva in the snow and I have to say I have a pretty good idea of how Scott felt now.

My knitting group meets about an eight minute walk away, I set out way way early and I’d done my research, but like Scott, mistakes were made.

For a start I brought the wrong dogs. They were rubbish sled-pullers. And when I decided en route that I had to kill one o
When I started reading this book at the end of January, it was cold out. I'd stand outside waiting for my bus in the morning, shifting from one foot to another, hoping to see the bus turn the corner down the street. I tend to read while I wait because it takes my mind off of things like obsessing over how many minutes late the bus is, or will it be one of the really long bendy-kinds or one of the shorter, older buses (in which case the heat might not work), or could I run back to my place to gra ...more
May 24, 2014 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm British, so my book reviews veer towards the pithy and the sarcastic. Also, because I'm British, I tend to complain about the weather whenever it's below 10C or above 15C. And then I went and read Captain Scott's journals. He and his team walked to the South Pole because science. And then they tried to walk back but died because the weather was unseasonably shit.

I can't write anything pithy about that. I can't be sarcastic. Scott and his team are, to use that modern cliché, heroes. Reading t
(March 17 2012) Last year I read one of the most incredible books of my life - The Worst Journey in the World (WJITW), an account by one of the surviving members of Scott's last expedition. Hardly a day has gone by since that I haven't thought about that expedition or those on it and so, with the hundredth anniversary of Scott's death approaching, I thought it was about time I read about it in the words of the man himself...

(March 29 2012) Well, I've now finally pulled myself together enough to
Matthew Kresal
Mar 09, 2012 Matthew Kresal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions that would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale..."

The centenary of the expedition’s end was the big reason I chose to read this when I did (and the fact it had been on the shelf for the better part of three years following an unsuccessful attempt to read it in late 2009-early 2010). I just finished it after the better part of t
Aug 08, 2013 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
SCOTT’S LAST EXPEDITION. (1915). Capt. Robert F. Scott. ****.
This was a painful book to read. It consisted of the personal journals of Capt. Scott, the leader of one of the British teams sent to reach the South Pole. It was essentially a scientific effort, meant to explore Antarctica and learn more about its geography, geology, and wildlife, but contained an element of national competition. Using another route, the explorer Amundensen, of Norway, beat Scott’s team to the goal. Imagine the sinkin
David Betts
Nov 13, 2012 David Betts rated it really liked it

A counter to the revisionist view of Scott as a blunderer. This is clearly a well organised, senior scientific expedition, not a rush to the pole. Mistakes were made - the reliance ob ponies, the lack of belief in dogs - but only with hindsight. The ultimate tragedy was, in the end, the result of extreme unseasonable weather and not any lack of planning or leadership. One cannot fail to be impressed by the stoicism and bravery, even after all the years in between. Well worth the read, albeit dry
Heather Clitheroe
Mar 04, 2012 Heather Clitheroe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
Note to self: if you ever go to the Antarctic and find that the Norwegians have beat you to the South Pole, don't worry about carrying thirty-five pounds of fossils back. Don't worry about it. Worry about not having packed enough food.
Richard Gombert
Mar 18, 2013 Richard Gombert rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Interesting to read.
When Scott made his expedition the study of Radiology was new breaking open physics. Meteorology was much less well known and understood. Continental drift was mostly unheard of. They did not even know the cause and treatment for Scurvy. No GPS, no satellite weather, no radio, etc.

That they even contemplated this journey is remarkable, and that they almost completed it.

That said there were several factors that (I feel) Scott did not take into proper account prior to the journ
I had already read Captain Robert Falcon Scott's unedited diary of his last expedition fairly recently, but this edition sounded interesting, as it includes photographs and commentary, and also notes on which parts of his diary were originally edited out for publication (though, oddly, some parts have been edited out for this publication as well). The story itself is haunting, the photographs make it even more so, and I found it pretty fascinating seeing the ways in which Scott and his men's sto ...more
I'd heard that Scott could write, and boy do I believe it now! I knew the story before starting this, having previously read several books about the expedition. But it was completely different reading about it in Scott's own words, and I can't help but admire the man immensely, despite his flaws. 100 years ago tomorrow, the blizzard that finally trapped him and his remaining companions in their tent 11 miles from their next depot picked up, and I will be thinking of these men a lot over the next ...more
John Howson
May 16, 2013 John Howson rated it it was amazing
This classic and amazingly detailed diary is a wonderful read. Scott is a very talented author and the really captivating world of Antarctic exploration is examined in depth. But then everyone knows what is coming! The fatal end. But this doesn't make it any less touching when it does come and Scott and his companions turn out to be brave, self sacrificing and as caring as the drastic circumstances will allow.
People who are determined to put Scott down should read this book and then you begin to
Jack Boerner
May 26, 2015 Jack Boerner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the great books about the great explorers
Feb 23, 2014 Erica rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking. I had read that Shackleton and Scott had an enormous dislike for each other for various reasons and I tended to vie more on the side of Shackleton. But having read these journals I found not the hard autocrat that I had expected, instead I found a man that seemed to revel in the "comradeship" of his fellow team members, a man that was proud that his was a happy team, a man that understood the necessity of shooting his animals for food, but still found it difficult. These journals ...more
May 02, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing
I read this on a day by day basis, traveling with Scott on the journey. I was impressed with Scott's writing. Loved the parts that took place near McMurdo station, since I could envision them. Overall, it's an epic journey that is well documented.........highly recommended.
Nov 16, 2015 Usfromdk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't really figure out how to rate this book (which is really two books in one), so I was very close to not rating it at all - however in the end I settled on a 4 star rating. Some of the last parts of Scott's narrative are heartbreaking to read and that stuff's high up there on the list of best stuff I've ever read, but when you base a narrative on diary notes it's only natural that there are segments where not much is happening. However the emotional power of the later parts of his narra ...more
Abdullah Almuslem
Dec 05, 2014 Abdullah Almuslem rated it liked it
The book was a very rigid diary with lots of repeated events and not many actions Happening. However, at the end of the book during the march to the south pole, it got really interesting. I felt really bad for the tragic end for Scott and his companions. The Norwegians reached the south pole before him and at the end he lost his life. The last notes he wrote were really touching:

"Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions that would
Christine Blachford
Jan 08, 2014 Christine Blachford rated it it was amazing
This was such a fascinating read - inspiring and yet so very sad at the same time. Chronicling the full journey from departing New Zealand, to arriving and fighting through the ice, to setting up “home” through the winter and then the final journey. I knew about the iconic quotes, going outside, being some time, that kind of thing, but seeing it in context was just so desperately sad.

I thought it was very telling about the human spirit that they had heart and hope and were pushing forward with t
Stephen Rodwell
Nov 12, 2014 Stephen Rodwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book I have ever read.
Jun 08, 2014 Alex rated it it was amazing
Second winner is just a first loser, as they say in Navy SEALs.

Despite all mistakes and absurd things like collecting stones instead of making effort to get back and all other details, this book/diary is great and very detailed. My edition had lots of great pictures and illustrations + 50 pages with short story on Shackleton's adventures.

It was a great journey with very sad ending.

Even when you know the outcome and proceed reading through those day by day last Scott's diary records, I was catch
Jan 04, 2015 Damien rated it it was amazing
Everybody knows how this true story ends. Reading it is really intense and touching... A must read for those who are interesting in polar discovery or any kind of human adventure...
Guðmundur Hrafn
Jan 09, 2014 Guðmundur Hrafn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
This is one of the most epic tales of human endurance.

Scott was an ambitious explorer, driven by the quest of his personal victories, honoring his country, and the recognition. The goal of his expedition was to conquer the south pole, but in a 'sophisticated' manner where research and collection of specimen played a big role.

The journal get you very close to the person, and the complete organisation of this most recognized polar journeys of all time.
Lee Belbin
Aug 23, 2015 Lee Belbin rated it really liked it
A tragic and sobering read of an expedition that was highly likely of failure before they started. Scott should have learnt from those in or exploring the Arctic. A hard read.
Jan 04, 2016 Louisecalder rated it liked it
Heavy on meteorological and other scientific data, but fascinating to know how much time and effort they were putting into research.
Feb 23, 2015 Eric rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I do not have the words to describe the admiration I have for Robert Scott. Taking for granted that nothing I could do would ever amount to his incredible accomplishments, it must also be appreciated that he was remarkably selfless as demonstrated by his care and consideration for others in the expedition,
As brutal as the Antarctic conditions were, he was ever sensitive to their welfare. When his sledge hung suspended over a crevasse, barely hanging on for dear life, he still had the presence to
Dominic Laverick
I wrote a blog post about Scott's expedition, just very inspiring, and Oates famous last words are my favourite.
David Cozens
Aug 08, 2015 David Cozens rated it really liked it
Captain Scott's ill fated journey to the South Pole told in the dairies found in their tent next to their bodies.
Brenda Clough
Jul 21, 2014 Brenda Clough rated it it was amazing
Surely one of the great adventure accounts of all time! There were giants in the earth in those days.
Feb 05, 2014 Joan rated it it was amazing
Tragic. Compelling. Unforgettable. 'I am just going out...' Re-read again.
Lisa Reiter
Aug 01, 2014 Lisa Reiter rated it liked it
A sad read when you already know the outcome
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Robert Falcon Scott was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, and the Terra Nova Expedition, 1910–13. During this second venture, Scott led a party of five which made up the British part of what has become known as "the race to the South Pole." On January 17th, 1912 they reached the South Pole only to find that they h ...more
More about Robert Falcon Scott...

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“Fortune would be in a hard mood indeed if it allowed such a combination of knowledge, experience, ability, and enthusiasm to achieve nothing.” 0 likes
“It is always rather dismal work walking over the great snow plain when sky and surface merge in one pall of dead whiteness, but it is cheering to be in such good company with everything going on steadily and well.” 0 likes
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