Friday, October 21, 2011

The Great Alone

“Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised.” Apsley Cherry Garrard

Somewhere in the hidden recesses of my DNA is an attraction to the stories of adventurers and explorers. Discoverers, pioneers or all stripes fill my imagination, but at the pinnacle are the tales of Scott, Amundsen, and Shackleton, Cherry-Garrard the men who first explored the Antarctic.

The Centenary of Robert Falcon Scott's unsuccessful attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole is next year. In preparation for the anniversary goings-on, Buckingham Palace has staged an exhibit of photos from the Royal Collection taken during Scott's journey by Herbert George Ponting, and of Shackelton's Endurance Expedition by Frank Hurling, the expeditions official photographers. That any glass plate negatives survived is a miracle. That any survived Shackleton's expedition boggles the mind.

If you are unlikely to find yourself in the UK before mid April 2012, many of the photos and artifacts may be found here.



Linda McMullan said...

Toad, I've read a tattered paperback copy Shackleton's Voyage - Endurance so many times I feel like I know those men personally. Ernest Shackleton's victory in not loosing a single man while trapped in this desolate corner of the earth is one of the most amazing feats of survival and management skill of all time. Thanks for the link.

Toad said...

Linda I've done the same with "The Worst Journey in the World".

Anonymous said...

Linda makes a powerful 2nd recommendation, I shall have to get busy.

Off topic: while hovering on your page yesterday, Sir, I cruised your blogroll to Tartanscot whereupon I went nuts over a handsome dinner jacket one of his holiday guests [the gentleman seated at far right] is wearing:


Karena said...


I also love reading of the adventures of men and women who seek to go where most of us earthlings would never venture! Thank you for the link.


Art by Karena

Toad said...

Flo, I also like Scott's black velvet number. I'm looking forward to dusting off mine soon.

After peeking at Maxminimus's maroon cord jacket today, I thinking velvet shopping.

Toad said...

If you missed Karena at A Femme d'Un Certain Age yesterday be sure to have a look today.

ABitofBubbly said...

Toad, my husband first introduced me to the life and adventures of Ernest Shackleton, 14 years ago, when we first started dating. I'm planning on ordering two of the Royal Geographic Society Frank Hurley repros of The Endurance for his Christmas present, as a belated thank you.