Ice explorers

I was reminded of Clare Dudman’s excellent novel "One day the ice will reveal all its dead" (or, as it is called in the UK, "Wegener’s Jigsaw") when I saw these photographs and letters. They will be auctioned on Friday (22 September) at Charterhouse Auctioneers in Sherborne, Dorset, UK. From the catalogue:

Petrona_2 "Lot 417 A Quantity of Memorabilia, relating to the Discovery Antarctic expedition of 1901, and the 1921 Quest expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton, assembled by Petty Officer J W Dell, an engineer on both expeditions. The collection includes letters from Captain Scott, Sir Ernest Shackleton and Dr Edward Wilson, photographs of Discovery and her crew, and agreements between Sir Ernest Shackleton and Petty Officer Dell regarding employment on the Quest expedition.
Petty Officer J W Dell, who ended up living in North Somerset, was injured while flensing a seal on the expedition and was consequently invalided home. He was also possibly the last man to see Sir Ernest Shackleton alive, and constructed the cross which was placed over Shackleton’s grave on South Georgia. Provenance: By descent through the family £600 – 1000."

2 thoughts on “Ice explorers

  1. Oh for an unlimited budget – I think my husband would love these (or at least to see them. Hope some museum buys them so we can all take a peek. We have on our shelves SOUTH WITH ENDURANCE: Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917, which is a collection of photographs from the expedition by Frank Hurley – he was taken along on the trip expressly with the purpose of recording events. Extraordinary stuff! Bet he wished he hadn’t taken the job!

  2. You would probably love reading about the expeditions that Wegener joined, Equiano, in which he gathered evidence for his theory of continental drift. Clare’s novel on the topic is very readable; you really get a whiff of those rotting seals and a touch of frostbite in your toes.

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