I May Be Some Time by Francis Spufford
Ice and the English Imagination

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Francis Spufford explores the British obsession with polar exploration in a book that Jan Morris, writing in The Times, called, “A truly majestic work of scholarship, thought and literary imagination...” The title, a last quote from one explorer to his party as he left their tent never to return, embodies the danger and mystery that fueled the romantic allure of the poles and, subsequently, the British imagination. Far from being a conventional history of polar exploration, I May Be Some Time attempts to understand what was going on in the minds of the polar explorers as they headed toward destinies like Terra Nova. Serving up a heady brew of Captain Perry, Jane Eyre, gastronomic obsessions with iced deserts, and the daily lives of the Eskimos, Spufford treats the reader to one of the most satisfying and imaginative contemporary works dealing with exploration and human need.

About Francis Spufford

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Francis Spufford, hailed as a member of Britain's new literary generation, has edited two acclaimed anthologies The Chatto Book of Cabbages and Kings: Lists in Literature and The Chatto Book of The Devil.
Published June 24, 1996 by Faber Faber Inc. 356 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Spufford, of the Guardian in London, plumbs the cultural fascination and aesthetic attraction of cold regions for British explorers, and how their romance with snow was fashioned by an evolving national sensibility, in this smartly argued, wide-ranging book.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this ardent discourse, Spufford, a British freelancer, examines the myths and symbols of ice and freezing cold that played a role in the history of legendary British polar expeditions.

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London Review of Books

to pass with such companions as I have.’ Dr Wilson, according to his obituary in the Times, ‘beautifully lit up the wastes’, and Scott, in his last message, found in the tent with the three bodies, declared: ‘We are weak, writing is difficult, but for my own sake, I do not regret this journey, wh...

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