The New York Times
The Longest Winter: Scott's Other Heroesby Meredith Hooper
Their tents were torn, their food was nearly finished, and the ship had failed to pick them up as planned. Gale-force winds blew, bitter with the cold of approaching winter.
Through the eyes of the men involved, Meredith Hooper recounts one of the greatest tales of adventure and endurance, which has often been overshadowed by the tragedy that befell Scott.
Their tents were torn, their food was nearly finished, and the ship had failed to pick them up as planned. Gale-force winds blew, bitter with the cold of approaching winter. Stranded and desperate, Lieutenant Victor Campbell and his five companions faced disaster. They burrowed inside a snowdrift, digging an ice-cave with no room to stand upright, but space for six sleeping bags on the floorthe three officers on one side, the tree seamen on the other. Circumstances forced them closer together, their roles blurred, and a shared sense of reality emerged. This mutual suffering made them indivisible and somehow they made it through the longest winter.
To the south, the men waiting at headquarters knew that Scott and his Polar party must be dead and hoped that another six lives would not be added to the death toll. Working from diaries, journals, and letters written by expedition members, Meredith Hooper tells the intensely human story of Scott’s other expedition.
The New York Times
2012 marks the centennial of the famous race to the South Pole between Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and Britain's Robert Falcon Scott. Not only did Amundsen triumph-reaching the Pole just two weeks before Scott-but tragically, Scott and the men with him never made it home. The British team, meanwhile, had broader scientific objectives for the trip. Hooper focuses on six members of Scott's team who were left on the eastern glacier with the expectation of being picked up the next year. After spending a year on the ice, they were ready to leave as planned, but the ship that was to pick them up never arrived. Left with few supplies, they were forced to make a winter trek on foot to reach Scott's back-up team. Hooper (The Ferocious Summer) explores how the stressful conditions transformed the relationships of the six men, dissolving class barriers between the three ordinary seamen and the three gentleman adventurers. This gripping scientific adventure story also includes fascinating details about glacial ecology.
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Meet the Author
Meredith Hooper received her post-graduate degree at Oxford. She is a writer, lecturer, and expert on Antarctica as well as the acclaimed author of numerous books, including The Ferocious Summer, which won the Nettie Palmer Award for Nonfiction. She has traveled and worked extensively in Antarctica and is the recipient of the Antarctica Service Medal. She lives in London.
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