The Guardian: Dispatch from Robert Falcon Scott to wife of Edgar Evans arrived months after expedition party had perished.
A poignant letter from Scott of the Antarctic to a colleague’s wife is being sold at auction. The note tells Lois Evans, wife of Edgar, how well he is doing, but did not arrive until months after he had died,.
The note from Robert Falcon Scott says the journey might take longer than originally planned and asks her not to be “anxious or worried”.
But by the time it reached England, Scott, Evans and three others had perished on their return from the pole, having been beaten to it by a rival Norwegian party.
The letter is expected to fetch around £6,000. Scott wrote to Mrs Evans: “Although I have never met you, your husband has told me a great deal about you so that I can imagine that you and the children will be waiting to see him home again next year. He is very well indeed, very strong and in very good condition.”
Dated October 1911, the letter did not arrive until May the following year – weeks after the party had died.
Other letters up for sale include one from Captain Lawrence Oates, who died after leaving the tent, saying he was going outside and “may be some time”.
He wrote to his mother about preparations for the expedition. He had been chosen partly because of his experience with horses. But Scott purchased the horses, used in the laying of stores, and they were not to Oates’s liking. He called them “the greatest lot of crocks I have ever seen”.
The letters are among six being sold by International Autograph Auctions at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow, on Sunday. Richard Davie, from the auction house, said: “These are a wonderful collection of letters from the expedition.”
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