Antarctic explorers Dr Edward Wilson and Chief Petty Officer Edgar Evans

23 Sep

My interest in Antarctica started when I was a junior doctor in St George’s Hospital London, where the Antarctic explorer Dr Edward Wilson had been a student seventy years previously.

He was a wonderful artist and St George’s had many of his paintings. I became fascinated by him and wrote a biography of this remarkable man. As I wrote the book I became interested in the lives of the Ratings, the sailors, who obeyed orders, kept cheerful and kept the expeditions going.

I have now written the biography of Chief Petty Officer Edgar Evans. This is to be published by The History Press in January 2011.

Not only did Edgar go with Scott on both his Antarctic expeditions of 1901 and 1910, he was also the first to die on the ill-fated return from the Pole and was – most unfairly in my opinion – blamed by many for the demise of his four companions.

One Response to “Antarctic explorers Dr Edward Wilson and Chief Petty Officer Edgar Evans”

  1. Andrew Atkin October 17, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    It’s fantastic to see diaries and biographies of many of the lower deck crew from the pioneer expeditions emerging. These make viewpoints available that were never intended for publication, and are therefore more candid. Reporting of the social landscape of the minor polar figures is greatly neglected.

    Here’s a section from the most recent Mawson’s Hut Foundation newsletter that tells of some other forthcoming publications of interest.

    “With the Centenary, there are a number of books about Mawson and the AAE being published and the Foundation is helping to promote selected publications. One of these is of Mawson’s artist Charles Harrisson, written by Heather Rossiter, herself a strong supporter of the Foundation and the flyer follows this letter. For those interested in these books we will also be providing and helping to market diaries on two members of the AAE. These are of John George Hunter, Mawson’s biologist at Cape Denison and that of Stan Taylor, a seaman onboard the AAE ship The Aurora. We hope these are of interest to you and we will provide full details of the later two books during the next few weeks.”

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