James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

Words from the White Continent

Scott was a born writer, a key to his (overall) success was his mastery of language. His words have stood the test of time, and more now than ever before, we can learn from one of history’s finest explorers.

Take a moment to indulge in some quotes:

“I can imagine few things more trying to the patience than the long wasted days of waiting.”

“I may not have proved a great explorer, but we have done the greatest march ever made and come very near to great success.”

“The dog is almost human in its demand for living interest, yet fatally less than human in its inability to foresee.”

“To wait idly is the worst of conditions.”

“We are very near the end, but have not and will not lose our good cheer.”

“We are weak, writing is difficult, but for my own sake I do not regret this journey, which has shown that Englishmen can endure hardships, help one another, and meet death with as great a fortitude as ever in the past.”

“We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of Providence, determined still to do our best to the last … Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale, but surely, surely, a great rich country like ours will see that those who are dependent on us are properly provided for.”

“We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. For God’s sake, look after our people.”
Scott died on the 29th of March 1912.