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This is a story of those left behind. But instead of leaving the polar wives as footnotes in history, this book brings them to the front, placing focus on their experiences – before, during and after their husbands’ expedition. Researched in granular detail and then synthesised into a compelling narrative, this is a story sensitively told – raw and honest in the brutal detail when it needs to be, but at other times warm, kind and compassionate to the protagonists and their plight.
The three women this book follows led very different lives, and left behind varying amounts of information for the author to analyse. This book serves as a reminder to the historian, and to the reader, that those who happen to be born into wealth and have access to power will always leave behind a more prominent paper trail in the historical record. We need sterling historians like Anne Fletcher to keep digging, to keep asking questions, to keep on trying to make the stories we tell as representative and inclusive as possible.
And what about the family left behind? How often have you wondered that in great tales of history? This then richly explores the wives and families of Scott’s last expedition. I hadn’t realised he’d successfully completed another expedition to the ice, nor the relationships and situations of the different members of the team. This is a great exploration of the wives of explorers, all of them extraordinary in different ways… but told in a way that draws you in. Enjoy this super storytelling!
Brilliantly brings to the foreground the stories of three women who have been barely in the background of one of the most famous episodes in 20th century British history. Fascinating and insightful and well told
This is such a really well written book, focussing as it does on women who in all previous Antarctic histories and biographies have been largely ignored or treated as merely “ciphers”. Their stories are as enthralling as the men they were married to. Exceptionally well researched, the author has brought the women to life; no longer “just” wives, these women are fascinating and accomplished and deserve to be rescued from the shadows of their husbands. The sacrifices the women made, and their encouragement surely helped the men have the opportunity to aim so high. Biography, social and women’s history in a highly informative and really good read! Highly recommended
Anne Fletcher's book presents another angle from a tragic story. It is the story of those left behind when the Scott Polar Party died in Antarctica. How did the widows and families cope? How were they treated by the authorities and the press? How was the legacy of the men preserved? You'll find the answers in there. It may even interest those who aren't familiar with Polar Exploration.