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Henry Robertson Bowers
The South Pole Journals

Now sold out

Edited by Heather Lane, Naomi Boneham and Robert D. Smith
Introduction by Anne Strathie

Publication date: 1 March 2012

Introductory page of Bowers Journal (SPRI MS 1505/3/5/9)The AuthorHenry Bowers photographed by Herbert Ponting (SPRI P2005/5/1172)

Henry Robertson Bowers was one of the five members of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Polar party, who made an heroic attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole in March 1912. Scott had come to rely on Bowers' meticulous planning, physical toughness and dauntless spirit. Seven months before the Pole journey, Bowers had proved himself an asset to the expedition, as one of the three-man team which survived a perilous mission to collect Emperor penguin eggs from Cape Crozier, an undertaking dubbed "The Worst Journey in the World" by fellow team member Apsley Cherry-Garrard.

The Journals

Throughout his time on Scott's expedition, Bowers kept a meticulous diary, which recorded not only the events of each day, but also his own thoughts, hopes and fears. These journals have never before been published. The Scott Polar Research Institute is proud to announce that they will finally be available in a beautifully produced letterpress edition, limited to 200 copies and available by subscription. The volume will also include the letters written home during the Polar journey on pages torn from Bowers' journal and notebooks.

The Limited Edition

In this centenary year of the expedition, an edition has been planned that will not only present the words of Henry Bowers for the first time, but will also be a tangible artefact, redolent of the time at which they were written. Each of the 200 copies of the Journals will be printed directly from lead type and quarter bound in leather.

The Printer

letterpress2The book will be printed by Hand & Eye Letterpress of London, who have previously worked with The British Library, the Royal Academy of Arts and The Folio Society.


A list of subscribers placing a pre-publication order has been included in the first edition. Proceeds from this venture will be used to make further manuscript materials from the 1910–13 British Antarctic (Terra Nova) Expedition available to a wider audience, in print and online.

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