The Worst Journey In The World
What can be said about this book? This is a carefully thought-out narrative giving a first-hand account of Scott's last expedition. Cherry did not immediately begin writing this book on his return from Antarctica but sought opinion and advice from literary friends. These include George Bernard Shaw. The book is nothing but a classic. It is superbly written in a most understated way. Cherry himself suffered greatly on his return to Britain and had a nervous break down. He had to live with the fact that the public thought Scott a hero and it always played on his mind the fact that Scott and his crew died just a eleven miles south of a food depot laid Gran and himself. If only he had gone a bit further........? The truth is that Scott gave misleading orders and changed plans at the last minute (eg taking an extra man to the pole). Cherry died on the 18th May 1959. He was a very wealthy landowner and personally published 'Worst Journey ' to be free from publisher influence. Later editions had updated forewords expressing political views about the war.
The book when first published was a limited edition of 1,500 copies -a 2 vol. boxed set (Constable) this was on 4th Dec 1922. The book had two different bindings. It quickly sold out despite its high cost- £3! Chatto & Windus produced the first single volume edition in April 1937 this of only, 1000 copies, again it quickly sold out and was extensively reprinted. Penguin published a 2 vol edition in June 1937 this was reprinted three times within 18 months. Modern editions are still appearing and are numerous.