Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard

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9780099437536: Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard

One of the youngest members of Captain Scott's final expedition to the Antarctic

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Review:

Cherry indicates that Sara Wheeler's love affair with Antarctica shows no signs of diminishing. After the success of Terra Incognita, her story of seven months in the Antarctic, she has now turned her attentions to a biography of Apsley Cherry-Garrard, one of the surviving members of Scott's ill-starred South Pole expedition and the author of one of the few truly enduring works of Polar literature, The Worst Journey in the World. Wheeler's achievement here is to transcend her subject's limitations to search for his nobility of spirit. The portrait that emerges is of a man tortured by his internal contradictions. Cherry-Garrard was a conservative of the old school, a gentleman amateur brought up to believe in the divine right of the aristocracy. But this view was shot through with a curious modernism; much as he deplored the ever-growing demands of the working class, he still recognised their right to a better quality of life. Similarly, he found himself out of step with many of his class over the futility of the war, and yet he suffered from guilt and anxiety over his inability to participate due to invalidity.

The Worst Journey in the World was his crowning moment. Where most Polar books focused on the practicalities of sledging rations, Cherry-Garrard looked beyond that into the souls of the explorers. It was an approach that has guaranteed his place in literature, but it cost him dear. Throughout his life, he was riddled with doubts about the part he played. Should he have disobeyed Scott's orders and taken supplies further south? And had he done so would the Polar party have survived. Likewise, his desire to tell the truth about the failings of the expedition was counterbalanced by his sense of loyalty. Ultimately, too, one suspects it was his inability to resolve all these ongoing conflicts that made it so hard for him to maintain lasting relationships with women until much later in life and contributed to the severe depression that dogged his middle and old age. If one wants to find fault with Cherry, it is in Wheeler's fundamentalist approach to her art. She praises Cherry-Garrard for the scope of his own work, yet limits herself to her sources. Inevitably this means that his early life is glossed over, but perhaps more importantly she sometimes denies herself the opportunities to speculate about states of mind or to make connections the reader is crying out for her to make. But maybe, she would argue that the point is better made when the reader does the work. Either way, this is a fine book. There is a growing market for Polar literature and much of what is being published is either a rehash of other people's work or mediocre. Cherry is neither, and Wheeler can rest easy that this book can take its place alongside the 1921 tome that inspired it. --John Crace

Review:

"Accomplishes what only the best biographies can" (The Times)

"Beautiful...written with unfailing eloquence and grace, and great admiration for its subject" (Independent)

"Brilliantly succeeds not only in brining this modest man disarmingly to life but also in recreating the England of his time and social setting...a formidable accomplishments" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Beautifully written... Wheeler's vocabulary to evoke this luminous and cruel continent appears limitless" (New York Times)

"With this wonderful biography Sara Wheeler has now vaulted into the front rank of modern British writers...this volume is so much more than a story of one remarkable man. It is among other things an exploration of the mind, a tour through the notions of national identity and pride, and a celebration of the tensile strength of the human spirit" (Simon Winchester)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 124 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959) was one of the youngest members of Captain Scott s final expedition to the Antarctic. Cherry undertook an epic journey in the Antarctic winter to collect the eggs of the Emperor penguin. The temperature fell to seventy below, it was dark all the time, his teeth shattered in the cold and the tent blew away. But we kept our tempers, Cherry wrote, even with God. After serving in the First War Cherry was invalided home, and with the zealous encouragement of his neighbour Bernard Shaw he wrote a masterpiece. In The Worst Journey in the World Cherry transformed tragedy and grief into something fine. But as the years unravelled he faced a terrible struggle against depression, breakdown and despair, haunted by the possibility that he could have saved Scott and his companions. This is the first biography of Cherry. Sara Wheeler, who has travelled extensively in the Antarctic, has had unrestricted access to new material and the full co-operation of Cherry s family. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099437536

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 124 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959) was one of the youngest members of Captain Scott s final expedition to the Antarctic. Cherry undertook an epic journey in the Antarctic winter to collect the eggs of the Emperor penguin. The temperature fell to seventy below, it was dark all the time, his teeth shattered in the cold and the tent blew away. But we kept our tempers, Cherry wrote, even with God. After serving in the First War Cherry was invalided home, and with the zealous encouragement of his neighbour Bernard Shaw he wrote a masterpiece. In The Worst Journey in the World Cherry transformed tragedy and grief into something fine. But as the years unravelled he faced a terrible struggle against depression, breakdown and despair, haunted by the possibility that he could have saved Scott and his companions. This is the first biography of Cherry. Sara Wheeler, who has travelled extensively in the Antarctic, has had unrestricted access to new material and the full co-operation of Cherry s family. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099437536

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Sara Wheeler, Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959) was one of the youngest members of Captain Scott's final expedition to the Antarctic. Cherry undertook an epic journey in the Antarctic winter to collect the eggs of the Emperor penguin. The temperature fell to seventy below, it was dark all the time, his teeth shattered in the cold and the tent blew away. 'But we kept our tempers,' Cherry wrote, 'even with God.' After serving in the First War Cherry was invalided home, and with the zealous encouragement of his neighbour Bernard Shaw he wrote a masterpiece. In The Worst Journey in the World Cherry transformed tragedy and grief into something fine. But as the years unravelled he faced a terrible struggle against depression, breakdown and despair, haunted by the possibility that he could have saved Scott and his companions. This is the first biography of Cherry. Sara Wheeler, who has travelled extensively in the Antarctic, has had unrestricted access to new material and the full co-operation of Cherry's family. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099437536

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. 2002. New Ed. Paperback. Apsley Cherry Garrard (1886-1959) was one of the youngest members of Captain Scott's final expedition to the Antarctic. Cherry undertook an epic journey in the Antarctic winter to collect the eggs of the Emperor penguin. This work presents the biography of Cherry. Num Pages: 368 pages, facsimiles, illustrations, maps, portraits. BIC Classification: 1MTS; BGH; RGR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 199 x 129 x 23. Weight in Grams: 290. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099437536

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Book Description Vintage, 2002. Book Condition: New. 2002. New Ed. Paperback. Apsley Cherry Garrard (1886-1959) was one of the youngest members of Captain Scott's final expedition to the Antarctic. Cherry undertook an epic journey in the Antarctic winter to collect the eggs of the Emperor penguin. This work presents the biography of Cherry. Num Pages: 368 pages, facsimiles, illustrations, maps, portraits. BIC Classification: 1MTS; BGH; RGR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 199 x 129 x 23. Weight in Grams: 290. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099437536

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