Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cheery Blackguard

The other week, I got a bumper crop of books from the library. I had requested four books which were either out or at another library, and they all turned up together. So I have a great heap of library books to read and return in good time.

First up is Cherry : a life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard by Sara Wheeler. This book was warmly recommended by a friend, and finally I've got round to seeking it out. Cherry was with Scott on Terra Nova, Scott's last (and fatal) expedition to the Antartic. Cherry had plenty of money and was looking for something to do. He met Scott through a friend and was eventually taken on the team. He was only 24, which is a bit young for this sort of venture, in terms of the physical hardship. I've noticed, time and again, the best performers in this respect seem to in their 30s or early 40s. His particular friends were 'Uncle Bill' Wilson (Scott's 2nd in command) and 'Birdie' Bowers - both of whom were in the ill-fated party who reached the Pole, but died on the return. Particularly because Cherry was involved in a team which suffered the deaths of its leader and good friends, as a youngster, he was perhaps going to take on too much responsibility for what happened. I'm about 3/4 of the way through now, and he's written his much-praised book about the expedition, The worst journey in the world. George Bernard Shaw helped Cherry with the writing of the book.

The other books in my library heap: The Moon Riders by Theresa Thomlinson, Boudica and the Lost Roman by Mike Ripley, and The Lost Luggage Porter by Andrew Martin. Somehow, I think I will have to do a bit of renewing. At least I can do this online these days :-)

Cheery Blackguard? That was Cherry's nickname whilst in Antartica


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