The Antarctic Journals of Reginald Skelton: Another little job for the Tinker
edited by Judy Skelton
Special Limited Edition: 150 copies numbered and signed, boxed and leather
(Copies may be purchased from the Scott Polar Research Institute bookshop)
Reginald Skelton was the Chief Engineer aboard RSS Discovery, accompanying Captain Robert Falcon Scott on his first expedition to the Antarctic from 1901 to 1904. His diaries, edited by his granddaughter Judy, give a fascinating and absorbing account of the dramas, tragedies and adventures encountered by Scott and his men during their two years based at Hut Point. They are published as an almost exact facsimile of the original seven volumes, with previously unseen family photos as well as numerous snapshots of the expedition taken by Skelton himself who was the official photographer.
The diaries start with an account of the construction of the Discovery in Dundee in 1900, continuing with regular entries over the next four and a half years. He gives a personal slant to all the major achievements including the first balloon flight over Antarctica, the first sighting of an Emperor penguin colony and the reception marking Scott, Wilson and Shackleton's safe return from their Furthest South. Interspersed with his acerbic comments and personal anecdotes are extracts from The South Polar Times, sketches by the ship's surgeon and artist, Dr Edward Wilson, as well as maps and diagrams.
An absolutely essential addition to any Polar enthusiast's library.
Review by Wendy Driver