Apsley Cherry-Garrard was born in 1886 and educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford. At twenty-four he was one of the youngest members of Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition. He served in the First World War until invalided out of the Navy in 1915, and during his convalescence started to write The Worst Journey in the World. He died in 1959.
The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctica, 1910-1913by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
In 1910, hoping that the study of penguin eggs would provide an evolutionary link between birds and reptiles, a group of explorers left Cardiff by boat on Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition to Antarctica. Not all of them would return. Written by one of its survivors, The Worst Journey in the World tells the moving and dramatic story of the disastrous Scott expedition. Driven by an obsession for scientific knowledge, these brave polar explorers embarked on a journey into the unknown, testing their endurance by pushing themselves to the ultimate physical and mental limits as they surveyed the striking and mammoth land that lay far to the south. Their goal was to discover as much as was scientifically possible about the terrain and habitat of Antarctica, and to be the first to reach the South Pole. The party was plagued by bad luck, weather conditions of unanticipated ferocity, and the physical deterioration of the party itself on the last part of the journey.
The youngest member of the team and its sole survivor, Apsley Cherry-Garrard gives a gripping account of Scott’s last expedition. The author was also part of the rescue team that eventually found the frozen bodies of Scott and the three men who had accompanied him on the final push to the Pole. These deaths would haunt him for the rest of his life as he questioned the decisions he had made and the actions he had taken in the days leading up to the Polar Party’s demise.
Prior to this sad denouement, Cherry-Garrard’s account is filled with details of scientific discovery and anecdotes of human resilience in a harsh environment. Each participant in the expedition is brought fully to life. The author’s recollections are supported by diary excerpts and accounts from other teammates.
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