Edgar Evans, the ‘Welsh Giant’

7 Dec

I have just seen the book cover of my book on Edgar Evans. In his picture Edgar looks every inch the ‘Welsh Giant’, a man of whom Wales can be proud.

Sadly, the only memorial to Edgar in Wales was commissioned by Edgar’s widow, Lois Evans. There was no national memorial. This was probably because some London newspapers blamed Edgar for slowing the progress of the British party on their ill-fated return and so causing the deaths of the men he so admired, an ill-founded suggestion that took years to refute.

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4 Responses to “Edgar Evans, the ‘Welsh Giant’”

  1. John M Jones December 30, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    The book on Edward Wilson was a tour de force, well written and of immense interest. It was thoroughly researched and revealed many previously little-known facts. I therefore look forward with great anticipation to Isobel’s forthcoming book on Edgar Evans; I have little doubt that it will be at least as fascinating. It is stated that it will be published in January 2011 – I am pretty sure that this should in fact be 2012, and that I haven’t been amnesic for the last year!
    Also I was previously completely unaware that there is a memorial to Evans on the Gower; I am confident that many more snippets of interesting information will be revealed in the book.
    John Jones

  2. N Foster Brown January 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    After the success of With Scott in the Antarctic,I look forward to the publication of the ‘sequel’,if it can be called that as it sounds a stand alone book that takes a fascinating slant, looking at the lower ratings and just how much they were under valued by the then ‘Establishment’, and it sounds like you will do Edgar Evans proud, with your thirst for facts and justice, and in some part being Welsh yourself. I wish you every success……

    • isobelpwilliams January 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

      My impression is that most of the ratings simply accepted their lot. There was such a large divide between the rich and educated and the poor and relatively much less educated (Forster’s Education Act only came in in 1870, Edgar’s mother Sarah, could not write at all), that people like Edgar found it impossible to imagine that they could ever aspire to wealth and promotion out of the below-decks ranks.
      A few did succeed, but they were fw ew and far between

  3. John millard March 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Isobel Williams has written an excellent biography of Edgar Evans who was the first man to die on Captain Scott’s terrible journey back from the South Pole. This biography is not only exciting and fast moving but provides a very interesting insight into society and class attitudes in England just before the First World War. For several years Edgar was blamed for the death of Scott and his companions because he was from the lower deck, and unlike them he was not an officer, was less well educated and of a lower class. He therefore did not have the grit and staying power of his companions. Dr Williams puts this nonsense to rest once and for all. A great story.

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