Widows of the Ice

The Women that Scott’s Antarctic Expedition Left Behind

Publication Date15th May 2022

Book FormatHardback





A moving and original account of the effect of Scott's tragic expedition on the men's wives and families, who fame and history have overlooked.
RRP: £20.00 Online Price £18.00
Availability: In stock

This story begins with perhaps one of the most iconic moments in British history: the death of Scott of the Antarctic. But it continues where previous histories have stopped. Unlike other books about the famous expedition, which has become such a powerful symbol of heroic failure and British bravery, Widows of the Ice examines the rest of the human story. Uniquely, it shows how the expedition affected the people closest to its members, beyond the British public who came to lionise them. These were the wives and families left behind by their brave, dead men.

As Scott wrote in his last letter, 'I do not regret this journey, which has shown that Englishmen can endure hardships, help one another and meet death with as great a fortitude as ever in the past.'

But what was behind this extraordinary type of bravery, where death sometimes seemed more honourable than success? And how much did those who loved and depended on the explorers support their endeavours, when it meant that they could lose everything?

Widows of the Ice not only provides a fascinating new account of one of modern British history's best-known events – a story that we thought we knew – but also sheds light on the culture that drove men to risk themselves in faraway lands, to inflict fear and loss of their families, which was an essential ingredient in the values of the British Empire and the nation's sense of identity until surprisingly recent times.

With reference to original sources including personal diaries and letters, Widows of the Ice puts a human face to the Scot Expedition, and shows how the women left behind by their heroic husbands suffered and survived, unable to express their sadness in a country that venerated their husbands' sacrifices.

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