Here is a good blog on Robert Falcon Scott’s farewell letters to his wife while dying in Antarctica in 1912.
My parents read this part to me at the age of about 13
“I have written letters on odd pages of this book — will you manage to get them sent? You see I am anxious for you and the boy’s future — make the boy interested in natural history if you can, it is better than games — they encourage it at some schools — I know you will keep him out in the open air — try and make him believe in a God, it is comforting.”
they were laughing about it as they read it to me as I loathed games – rugby, football Cricket etc and always skived off them.
However I loved the outdoors and at about this time I took up serious cycling and was wanting to climb mountains as we had pictures of Khanchenjunga in our dining room. We also had Peter Scott prints in the house.
Thus RF Scott’s last words meant much to me and helped as my school didn’t like non-games players.
I have never been very good at natural history but love it as an ancillary to exploring the countryside, (wilder the better) on foot and bike.
My parents never gave me encouragement to believe in a God. That came later and in part triggered off by being filled with awe for the natural world – with an event in the mountains looking over to Snowdonia.
And so begins Jerry Coyne’s blog
Many of you know of Captain Robert Falcon Scott‘s final entry in his diary, written as he lay freezing to death in his tent on his return from the South Pole. He had made it to the Pole with five companions, only to find that Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian team had beaten him to the prize by about a month.
Here’s the famous picture of Scott’s team at the Pole, presumably taken with a self timer. The caption: “Party at the South Pole, 18 January 1912. L to R: (standing) Wilson, Scott, Oates; (seated) Bowers, Edgar Evans“. They certainly don’t look happy.
On the return, one of Scott’s men, Edgar Evans, died of a concussion. Another, Titus Oates, frostbitten and near death, walked out of their tent into a blizzard to his demise after famously remarking, “I am going outside. I may be some time.”…
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