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Captain Scott

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  572 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Presents the story of one of the greatest explorers who ever lived by 'the world's greatest living explorer'.
Paperback, 508 pages
Published 2004 by Coronet Books (first published 2003)
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'Aussie Rick'
Jun 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history

This biography on Captain Scott by Ranulph Fiennes will rank in my top ten books for 2003. I have to confess that I have no in-depth knowledge on artic travel and exploration other than having read a few good books on the subject.

Having said that, out of the books that I have read on the subject this has to be the best so far. In any book I read I always have a look at the background (or pedigree) of the author. In this case Ranulph Fiennes has the personal experience of many years of artic tra
...more
Richard Steel
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Torn between 3 and 4 stars. The first half of the book is Scott's back-story before the ill fated Terra Nova expedition, and while it gives certain parts of the Terra Nova expedition some context, as a stand alone biography it was somewhat pedestrian - it was ok.

Second half is excellent; Fiennes experience with polar travel and conditions, together with his meticulous research of the expedition's letters and diaries, places him in an excellent position to be able to offer critical analysis of t
...more
Omar Waheed
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The description of Captain Scott and his four companions marching back from the South Pole haunted me days after finishing the book. I couldn't help repeatedly imagining what they went through in that freezing cold tent with frostbitten limbs and faces, no food or water, no strength to continue and no reinforcements coming to help. My heart just couldn't encompass the pain and desolation.

The author Ranulph Fiennes has written a book that evoked my emotions while being thorough to the subject ma
...more
Scott McKenzie
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Five word review: Unique insights from perfect biographer
Ethan
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
With this biography of Captain Scott, Ranulph Fiennes is attempting to right the wrong done to Scott's reputation. A wrong mostly done by the author Roland Huntford, at least in Fiennes view. The author charts Scott's life but primarily focuses on his two expeditions to the south pole, the second one ending in tragedy.
Fiennes is an experienced polar explorer and has lead expeditions in the same areas as Scott, using some of the same methods, including extensive man-hauling as were used on both
...more
Ange
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although it's taken me quite some time to read "Captain Scott", this is more a reflection on me than the book. I found it a thorough and mostly well-written account of Captain Scott's Antarctic expeditions. Fiennes goes to great lengths to defend Scott's reputation against the claims made in Roland Huntford's book (which I have not read). However, I often felt that Fiennes tried too hard to justify or explain Scott's actions and the infrequent criticisms of Scott by his team (particularly by Tit ...more
Jonathon Day
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Having first really studied Scott (briefly) at University I was mostly familiar with the famous 'debunking' of Scott evident in Roland Huntford's work: 'Scott and Amundsen'.

However, Scott's story has always stuck and when I was reminded of this book recently I was eager to read and alternative view from someone with real experience of the climate, conditions and dangers of the Arctic.

Fiennes does not disappoint: the book is a thorough and dedicated biography detailing Scott's early life and both
...more
Nancy Townsend
When I started listening to this audiobook, I found Ranulph Fiennes' voice rather droning and dull. I thought that this would make listening to the book a bit of a chore, but pretty soon it had me gripped. A well-written, fascinating account of an important chapter in British history.
Matthew
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A really excellent and passionate re-telling of Captain Scott's fateful voyages to the South Pole by Ranulph Fiennes. Scott's character and journeys have taken a bit of a bashing in recent times, if you asked most people what they knew it would be somthing along the lines of...'The Norwegian got there first'...'I may be some time'...'Didn't take dogs'...This I must admit was pretty much my level of knowledge as well. Fiennes completely re-assesses Scott and the decisions he made to paint the tru ...more
Fraser
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book in a moment of inspiration after a wonderful visit to Discovery Point in Dundee.

I have also followed Fiennes career closely, reading most of his books depicting his various travels and adventures.

This book is so passionate, one clearly feels the admiration that Fiennes holds for Scott, and the contempt he holds for authors who have never set foot on the snow and ice of the Antarctic.

Suffice to say, I found myself re-assessing the commonly held views of the noble failure of his
...more
Kristina Brown
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: polar, biography
I cannot recommend this highly enough. Not a hagiography yet sympathetic to the ordeal of Scott and his men. Who better to write of the trials of Antarctic travel than someone who has not only been there but has experience both manhauling and using dogs?
This is a factual account of Scott's travels using quotes from original sources rather than past biographies. Sir Ranulph not only describes what happened but also explains from his own experience the whys and wherefores. He also carefully highli
...more
Enrique Gustavo Baglioni
Una libro que pretende refutar otro por un escritor que no sabe argumentar. Una pena

Como bien lo explica su autor en el último capítulo con su libro pretende hacer una crítica y réplica principalmente al libro de Roland Huntford sobre el mismo tema. Si bien es cierto que el libro de Huntford lo muestra a Scott como a un bobo en cada aspecto de su vida lo que es inverosímil, Fiennes cae en el mismo error haciendo a Scott un genio, de cada error una virtud o un acierto y buscando cualquier justifi
...more
Shane
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Had never read anything on Scott or on Antarctica before so was unaware of any tarnished image of Scott. Fiennes spends a lot of time in the book disputing other authors conclusions or myths that have sprung up in recent years which I found a bit annoying (maybe cause I was unaware of them to begin with)
It's a very detailed account of Scott's two expeditions and his ultimate demise. It was fascinating to hear the many challenges and deprivations the team faced and the struggles and how they ove
...more
Ann-Marie
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a fascinating and very sad story. This year its 100 years since Scott and two of his fellow explorers died on the ice in Antarctis. There is much written about him but Sir Ranulph Fiennes writing gave the story another dimension because Fiennes has been there and has endured much of what Scott did.

I liked the book very much. It is well written and easy to read. Fiennes tells Scotts story, and is quite critical of much that has been told about him. I still dont feel that Ive learnt what
...more
Mark Spyker
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful read! At its most basic level this is the re-telling of a classic adventure by a master storyteller. On another level it is the restoration of Scott's reputation after Roland Huntford and others systematically shredded it at the end of the last Century. But what clinches this book's place in history is the passionate intensity and insight Fiennes brings to "The Greatest March Ever Made" in the light of his own manhauling expeditions across the Antarctic in more recent times. Def ...more
Patty
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to get into this one even though I really love true-life adventure books. Its a long one with lots of history and background leading up to Scott's actual tragic push for the pole. In the end, I think that Fiennes is successful in making his case that Scott's reputation has been unfairly maligned by the Roland Huntford book on the same subject. At the time of Scott's death, he was considered a national hero, despite the obvious failure. Good read for anyone who enjoys reading a ...more
Alison Sloggett
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
cool calmly read, as listened to the audio version, really brought home to me how brave and how hard it must have been for them all, as Ranulph Fiennes experience of doing the exact same trials , means he does know something about what they were going through.
really interesting book, and found it outrageous about the author he mentions in there who has written fabricated histories of Scott.
definitely recommend this to anyone who has any interest in explorers or the early 20th century.
Barry
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy this book. A compelling tale of heroism and exploration that captures the importance of such feats in their era, it's dramatic, poignant (without being the least bit sentimental), detailed without ever being drudgery, and all told through the eyes of a "been there, done that" author.
Jim Clearman
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read, the real world knowledge of Antarctic conditions and expedition leadership that the author possesses is the foundation of this books veracity. Well researched, thoughtfully arranged, Fiennes authorship does much to undo the existing trendy derision of Captain Scott's tragic polar expedition.
Rod
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Rather detailed but a little long winded biography of Captain Robert Falcon Scott.

Fiennes goes to great lengths to justify the actions of the man who is clearly an inspiration to him. His attacks on later critics is well formulated but makes one concerned that Fiennes's defence of Scott may be a little too subjective as he defends his hero.

Mark
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very well researched book. Whilst it is clear that the book aims to redress some of the Scott debunker books of the 1970's, it is done in an objective and honest way. Written with a clear understanding of the conditions and perils faced in Antarctic travel and the many trials faced by Captain Scott and his men on that ill fated journey to the pole. Excellent read.
Carol Anne Williams
Brilliant book setting the record straight after a very long time. Good on Ranulph Fiennes - a man who bags journeys to the polar regions like the likes of you and I would go to the pub! Far better to listen to what this man has to say that all these armchair travellers who know nothing about the conditions Scott and his men would have faced.
Misha
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Good book by good man and about great man
Just finished "The Last Place on Earth: Scott and Amundsen's Race to the South Pole" and now I am confused. Which book tells true story. Sir Fiennes defense of Scott does not hold very well
David Macfarlane
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting about what the ill-fated expedition went through but just to much "on this day it was minus x, we walked this far and it was windy etc". I know what else did I expect from a book on the expedition.
Alan Porter
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
THE biography of Scott; detailed, insightful and gruelling. Compared it to Roland Huntford's version and you can see the difference between someone who has actually walked in his subject's footprints and someone who... well, hasn't.
Leon Foot
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
A realy well researched and objective account of Scott's life.
Lindsay
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book - can't imagine how they endured such an expedition.
Erik
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Cool! Would have gotten 4 stars if it was not trying to push its point in your face all the time. Well written
José Flores
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excelente relato...muy entretenido y ágil. Además el autor tiene experiencia lo que le da una mirada distinta al relato...
Lucy
Apr 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Iron grit determination and stiff upper lippery are the chief characteristics of the men in this book. They don't make em like that anymore.
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Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet, OBE, better known as Ranulph (Ran) Fiennes, is a British adventurer and holder of several endurance records.

Fiennes has written books about his army service and his expeditions as well as a book defending Robert Falcon Scott from modern revisionists. In May 2009, aged 65, he climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. According to the Guinness Book o
...more
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