Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912)
Scott's Last Expedition. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1913. 2 volumes, 8 (23.6 x 16.4cm.) Titles in red and black. Photogravure portrait frontispieces, 9 folding maps, numerous plates after Herbert Ponting, Edward Wilson and others, 14 coloured, 3 double-page, 2 folding, extra-illustrated with a loosely inserted folded sheet of pencil drawings of animals made by Sir Peter Scott when a young child, and a small format sheet inserted between pp.602-3 in vol.I annotated in ink by Sir Peter Scott ('The last words in Nelson's private Diary') with a clipping beneath. (Vol.I with small tears to blank margins of pp.5-6 and plates facing pp.306 and 314.) Original blue cloth, upper covers and spines gilt, t.e.g. (Small tear to joint of lower joint of vol.I, some very light soiling).
Provenance: Sir Peter Markham Scott (1909-1989, signature at front of vol.I); by descent.
Third edition, with an important provenance.
Scott's only son was much in his thoughts during the final days: he wrote to J.M. Barrie (Sir Peter's godfather) asking that he look after Kathleen and their child: 'More practically I want you to help my widow and my boy - your godson...Give the boy a chance in life if the State won't do it. He ought to have good stuff in him'. To J.J. Kinsey (Scott's agent in Christchurch, N.Z.) 'My thoughts are for my wife and my boy. Will you do what you can for them if the country won't. I want the boy to have a good chance in the world, but you know the circumstances well enough. If I knew that the wife and boy were in safe keeping I should have little regret in leaving the world...'; and finally to his wife 'Make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games; they encourage it at some schools. I know you will keep him in the open air. Above all, he must guard and you must guard him against indolence. Make him a strenuous man. I had to force myself into being strenuous as you know...What lots and lots I could tell you of this journey...What tales you would have for the boy. But what a price to pay' (Scott's Last Expedition vol.I, pp.598ff). (2)