×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Cheltenham In Antarctica : The Life of edward Wilson
     

Cheltenham In Antarctica : The Life of edward Wilson

by David Wilson
 

See All Formats & Editions

Edward Adrian Wilson is perhaps the most famous native son of Cheltenham. In

the early years of the 20th Century, he was one of the major influences and

personalities of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration and has also been

recognised as one of the top ranking ornithologists and naturalists in the United

Kingdom during this period. He was also one of

Overview

Edward Adrian Wilson is perhaps the most famous native son of Cheltenham. In

the early years of the 20th Century, he was one of the major influences and

personalities of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration and has also been

recognised as one of the top ranking ornithologists and naturalists in the United

Kingdom during this period. He was also one of the last great scientific expedition

artists.

Despite this, remarkably little has been published about him. His father wrote an

unpublished biography of him shortly after his death. This was an important

source for George Seaver, who published three volumes of biography on Edward

Wilson in the 1930s and 40s, fortunately quoting extensively from his letters and

diaries. After the appearance of the first two volumes much of the source material

that Seaver had used was destroyed, most of it on the instructions of Oriana,

Edward Wilson’s widow. There was nothing malicious in this: she simply thought

that she had done her public duty in allowing a biography to be published and did

not want strangers digging around in her private correspondence after her death.

In the 1960s and 70s, through the Scott Polar Research Institute, the Antarctic

expedition diaries of Edward Wilson and a volume of his Antarctic bird pictures

were published. Several people tried to write new biographies in the 1970s and

80s but all failed for the lack of new material: due to the subsequent events,

George Seaver’s books and the published diaries already contained much of the

source material about the life of Edward Wilson.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781874192701
Publisher:
Reardon Publications
Publication date:
11/30/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
File size:
52 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt

The relationship that changed most dramatically on the Southern Journey was

Ted’s relationship with Scott. On the return journey, Ted, in his words, “had it out”

with Scott. Whether this was sparked by a particular incident with Scott or not, we

will probably never know. The two of them talked alone for hours, over several

days. What was discussed is unknown but it seems unlikely that much was left out

because their relationship was forged from one of mutual respect to a deep and

lasting friendship based on a profound understanding, each of the other. It is said

that, after this journey, Scott’s eyes would light up at the mention of Ted’s name.

Scott’s sister later wrote, “My brother loved him, there was a tender sympathy

between them always”. That mutual love was forged on this journey.

Shackleton’s illness was more serious than simple scurvy and it seems unlikely

that Scott had any choice but to send him home on the relief ship, Morning, which

had arrived with mail and fresh supplies. Their relationship upon return to the

ship, as written up in other people’s diaries, does not have the appearance of

mutual simmering resentment, as some have suggested: Scott was jumping up

and down cooking Shackleton sardines on toast. Ted noted that Shackleton’s

serious coughing was brought on by the approach of southern blizzards, as was

his own rheumatism which was as good as a barometer. Under those

circumstances, to have kept Shackleton south would have been an

unconscionable risk.

The ice having failed to break out from around Discovery left her frozen in for

another Antarctic winter; Morning returned to New Zealand alone. The second

winter passed much as the first, although more peacefully. Bernacchi took over

the editing of the South Polar Times. By the end of the winter Ted had produced

over 200 watercolours and sketched detailed panoramas of the newly discovered

coast from the Southern Journey. In Shackleton’s absence, he walked to the top of

Crater Hill alone, refusing company. He was anxious for the spring, when he

would be able to continue his “proper sphere of work” and finally have the

chance to go and study the most important biological discovery of the expedition

so far: Lieutenant Skelton, on one of the 1902 spring sledging parties under

Lieutenant Royds, had found an Emperor Penguin nesting colony at Cape Crozier

on the eastern end of Ross Island, the first one discovered.

Meet the Author

DR. DAVID M. WILSON With over ten years experience working on Expedition cruise ships, Dr David Wilson is in increasing demand both as an ornithological field guide and as an historian. He boasts numerous explorers and ornithologists on his family tree, which add a uniquely personal flavour to many of his talks. Not least amongst these was his great uncle, Dr Edward Wilson, who was on both of Captain Scott's Antarctic Expeditions and famously died with him on the return from the South Pole in 1912.
With his wide range of philosophical, artistic and biological interests, time spent talking with Dr. Wilson is not likely to be dull. He is the author of numerous books, papers and even a CD of historic Antarctic expedition songs and poems. His latest books, to be published in the autumn of 2011 will be a volume of Captain Scott's own long lost photographs; and a volume of his great uncle's Antarctic paintings.
Dr. David M. Wilson, PhD. (Essex), was born in 1963. Having an early career in the theatre, he moved on to study at the United World College of the Pacific and the Universities of York and Essex, where he trained as a philosopher. He is also a trained Counsellor. With a strong interest in Aboriginal cultures, he also has a wide range of ornithological and natural history interests. He is a noted polar historian with a personal connection to his subject: his great uncle, Dr Edward Wilson, died with Captain Scott and his party on their return from the South Pole in 1912. In addition to writing The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott (2011), he has produced several books in support of our polar heritage:
Cheltenham in Antarctica: the Life of Edward Wilson (2000);
Discovery Illustrated: Pictures from Captain Scott's First Antarctic Expedition, (2001)
The Songs of the 'Morning': a musical sketch, (cd 2002)
Edward Wilson's Nature Notebooks (2004)
Nimrod Illustrated: Pictures from Lieutenant Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition (2009)
Edward Wilson's Antarctic Notebooks (2011)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews