The Antarctic Journals of Reginald Skelton, "Another Little Job for the Tinker"
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Titolo: The Antarctic Journals of Reginald Skelton, ...
Casa editrice: Reardon Publishing, Cheltenham
Data di pubblicazione: 2004
Legatura: Hard Cover
Condizione sovraccoperta: Good
Reginald Skelton Was Chief Engineer, And Offical Photographer To Captain Scott's Discovery Expedition; My memories of my grandfather are of an old, but still fit and upright, man who had a deep gravelly voice and chuckled a lot. I was only ten when he died in 1956 and he never, as far as I can remember, told me anything about his time in the Antarctic. Forty two years after his death we had, in a sense, changed places and I was getting the full story. By then into my fifties, seated in the library at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) in Cambridge, I began reading the Antarctic journals of Reginald Skelton, not yet out of his twenties, who had been chosen as Scott's chief engineer on the Discovery Expedition. Directly outside the window in front of my desk was the building site which was to become the bright, airy Shackleton Memorial Library. The archivist, Bob Headland, apologised for the terrible noise of the construction work, which he feared would frustrate any attempt to concentrate, but all I could hear was the sound of the Discovery's bows scrunching through the pack ice and the howl of the Antarctic wind as the ship fought to hold her own in the teeth of storm force Southerly squalls off Coulman Island. Since then I have been back to Cambridge to read the seven volumes of Reginald Skelton's Discovery Journals, and his sledging diaries, more times than I can keep track of but every time something new catches my attention. There is a freshness in this account, written by a young man describing events even as they take place, as he experiences them without knowing what is to follow, which is lost in any retrospective telling of the tale. Through the publication of this book I hope many other people, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to read the original journals, will be able to share the pleasure of vicarious participation in the Expedition. There is another purpose in bringing this book to the public. Skelton, whose name is by no means universally known, was, nevertheless, an important member of the Expedition and many books about Discovery include quotations from his journals. Since becoming familiar with the journals, I have found out that not all these passages are faithfully reproduced. I am aware of at least two supposedly scholarly books which contain misquotations from Skelton's journals. Whereas innocent mistakes can be made in interpreting hand-written documents, the distortion in some instances is of an order which suggests deliberate misrepresentation. The present book gives all serious students of the history of Antarctic exploration access to the full authentic text.About the Author:
JUDY SKELTON - a profile Judy acquired the taste for travel early in life when the family accompanied her father, an officer in the Royal Navy, on postings to Malta and Gibraltar in the 1950s. Her career, in the voluntary sector of international development, involved living in a number of distinctly warm places, including India, Mexico and Tanzania. Then, in 1997, unaware of the consequences it would have, Judy read a travel book about Antarctica. She had grown up knowing that her grandfather, Reginald Skelton, had accompanied Captain Falcon Scott on his Discovery Expedition to the Antarctic from 1901-4, and she had occasionally dipped into her father's books about it, but now she was seized with the desire to know about Reginald's experiences in detail. A visit to the Ross Sea area of Antarctica, including McMurdo Sound where Discovery was moored for over two years, further fired her newfound enthusiasm. Judy then had to find a part-time job to enable her to spend time in the archives of the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) in Cambridge, to which Reginald had bequeathed all his Antarctic papers: journals, correspondence and technical documents. At first, she intended simply to read these papers, but before long, with the encouragement of SPRI staff, she found herself working with another Discovery descendant on "Discovery Illustrated: Pictures from Captain Scott's First Antarctic Expedition", a book to celebrate the centenary of the start of the expedition. The success of "Discovery Illustrated", which had included quotations from Reginald's graphic and lively journals, encouraged Judy to bring their full text to publication, under the title "The Antarctic Journals of Reginald Skelton: Another Little Job for the Tinker" to celebrate the centenary of the expedition's return. She is currently working on two further projects related to Reginald Skelton: An illustrated catalogue of Discovery photographs (Reginald was in charge of photography on the expedition); a monograph on the early development of motorised sledges, on which Reginald worked with Captain Scott between his two Antarctic expeditions. She is also considering the possibility of a biography of Reginald Skelton. The 'Friends of SPRI' exist to support the work of SPRI, principally through fund-raising, and Judy has served on the committee for some years, currently as Treasurer. Sponsored events are a major source of the Friends' income, and in 2006 Judy went on their first 'Great Dog-Sledging Challenge' in Arctic Norway. She hopes to go trekking in Greenland on a future event. In 2007, Judy and her grandfather were the subject of a Radio 4 programme in a series on inheritance.
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