25 September 2002
[SIR ERNEST HENRY SHACKLETON (1874-1922)]
A group of approximately 60 letters of condolence addressed to Lady (Emily) Shackleton after the death of Ernest Shackleton, January - May 1922, including letters from Alexander Macklin (on Quest, South Georgia, 7 January 1922), Thomas Orde-Lees, Kathleen Scott, Caroline Oates (mother of Captain Oates), Hugh Robert Mill, Francis Younghusband (2) and others.
Alexander Macklin writes 'a short note to convey to you my deepest sympathy ... Sir Ernest died quite suddenly ... He was actually in conversation with me at the time, & was complaining that he could not sleep well, which he attributed to worry of different kinds'; Macklin explains that 'we all feel that he ought to be buried at home'; Hussey will give her 'all the particulars that you wish to know'. Orde-Lees writes from Japan, 'I should like to know a little about his last wishes and the resting place of his noble soul'. Kathleen Scott sends her love: 'If in this trying time I can be of any service to you please let me'. Caroline Oates writes of her sense of loneliness and the importance of loved ones. Francis Younghusband writes of his sympathy and admiration, and offers on behalf of the Royal Geographical Society to arrange a memorial service. An equerry to Queen Alexandra communicates her admiration for Shackleton's work and her personal regard for him: she is 'much distressed at his death'. Hugh Robert Mill, later Shackleton's biographer, discusses the hack biography written by Harold Begbie and published by Mills and Boon soon after Shackleton's death: 'I do not wonder that you are disappointed and even disgusted with it'.
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