Tale of Antarctic ordeal for auction
A MANUSCRIPT, believed to be found in Branscombe, which traces the treacherous Antarctic exploration in 1911 of a group dedicated to finding Emperor Penguin eggs is due to be auctioned next month. The account, which came to light this year, was written b
A MANUSCRIPT, believed to be found in Branscombe, which traces the treacherous Antarctic exploration in 1911 of a group dedicated to finding Emperor Penguin eggs is due to be auctioned next month.
The account, which came to light this year, was written by Edward Wilson, who only months later joined Captain Robert Scott and his team on their ill-fated endeavour to be the first group to reach the South Pole.
It has been hailed as the most important manuscript relating to the heroic age of Antarctic exploration to come on the market for more than two decades.
The journey during the darkness of the Antarctic Winter had never been attempted before when Wilson with 'Birdie' Bowers and Apsley Cherry-Garrard set off from Cape Evans for Cape Crozier on June 27.
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Weather conditions plummeted, with the temperature bottoming out at -77F but despite the elements, the group made it back to Cape Evans with three eggs collected in order to study Emperor Penguin embryos.
The expedition was made famous by Cherry-Garrard in his book 'The Worst Journey in the World' and was described by Captain Scott as "one of the most gallant stories in Polar History".
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Bonhams auctioneers in London have valued the manuscript at �80,000 to �120,000 and it will go to auction on September 16.
The 40-page record comprises of written material and pencil sketches by Wilson and has several pencilled notes added by Captain Scott.
Aged only 39, Wilson perished in 1912 along with Bowers, Oates, Evans and Captain Scott on their return journey from the race to the South Pole, in which they were beat by a Norwegian team.
Jon Baddeley, Bonhams' head of collector's department, said: "It is a hand-written account of a very famous Antarctic voyage of discovery and these are very rare. It is an extraordinary document."
He described Wilson as a "remarkable" man, who was not only an explorer but a medical practitioner and a watercolour painter.
Speaking of Wilson's death, Mr Baddeley added: "It was tragic. He had a relatively short life which makes it [the manuscript] more important. If he had lived to an old age he would have written a lot more."
* Do you have any information about the manuscript? If so contact a Herald reporter on (01392) 888503.