DR LEONARD DUNCAN ALBERT HUSSEY (1894-1965)
Autograph manuscript signed, 'Shackleton-Rowett Expedition The Voyage of the "Quest"', comprising title, projected chapter list, and drafts of 6 chapters, 'Rio to S. Georgia', 'Shackleton's Death', chapters describing the journey with Shackleton's body from South Georgia to Montevideo, the reception at Montevideo and the return to South Georgia, 'Shackleton's Funeral', followed by a second draft of the latter sections entitled 'Shackleton's Last Journey', occasional insertions, emendations and deletions throughout, altogether 65 pages, 4to, cloth-backed boards.
Shackleton's last days, death and burial. Hussey begins with the Quest's departure from Rio de Janeiro, and the terrible storm that intercepted her on the way to South Georgia. He notes in particular the extraordinary rolling of the little ship: 'As a rule one could only spare one eye and one hand for one's food, the other eye and hand being occupied in watching for possible accidents and preventing them as far as possible'. Shackleton's own refusal to sleep ('I am alright. Go below and sleep, yourself') is seen as fateful. Shackleton's death at South Georgia is the occasion of a ringing tribute: 'Sir Ernest loved his men before anybody or anything. No sacrifice on his part was too great if it helped in the least towards the comfort of his men. And we on our part would have done anything for him or have gone anywhere with him'. The particular interest of the manuscript lies in the account of the progress of Shackleton's body (embalmed in a zinc coffin), which Hussey alone accompanied, first to Montevideo, and then back to South Georgia, where he was buried: Hussey notes that at first it was suggested that the explorer might be buried at sea, but this was rejected because it might offend Uruguayan sensibilities; the decision to bury him in South Georgia was Lady Shackleton's. Hussey's account ends with the return of the Quest to South Georgia ('a little ship much the worse for wear') and his own return to England with Shackleton's effects.
The list of chapter headings, which cover the entire progress of the expedition, and notes within the text ('From here onwards is intended for your use in connection with the book') indicate that Hussey's manuscript was originally intended for inclusion in a full account of the voyage of the Quest, but it is not included in Wild's Shackleton's Last Voyage in 1923.