I May Be Some Time is a richly engrossing cultural history of our obsession with ice, Eskimos and polar exploration.When Captain Scott died in 1912 on his way back from the South Pole, his story became a myth embedded in the national imagination..Despite wars and social change, despite recent debunking, it is still there..Everyone remembers the doomed explorers' last words - 'I'm just going outside, and I may be some time' - and history is what you can remember.Conventional histories of polar exploration trace the laborious expeditions across the map, dwelling on the proper techniques of ice-navigation and sledge-travel..But we rarely ask what the explorers thought they were doing, or why they did these insane things.I May Be Some Time is about the poles as they have been perceived, dreamed, even desired..It explores the myth as myth, showing how Scott's death was the culmination to a long-running national enchantment with perilous journeys to the ends of the earth.'The thrills of desolation, of icy beauty, of challenge, of human courage, of comradeship . . . I May Be Some Time is a truly majestic work of scholarship, thought and literary imagination.' Jan Morris, The Times

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