A First-Rate Tragedy is the story of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott. In the year 1910, Scott set out to be the first man to the South Pole only to find that the Norwegian Roald Amundsen had arrived first. Disappointed, Scott and his men began the return trek home. However, they never made it back; Scott and his men perished only a few miles from a supply camp. Thanks to diaries discovered with the bodies of Scott and his men, readers are able to follow the desperate and fatal return journey. In order to shed light on the circumstances that impacted Scott's decisions, author Diana Preston writes not only of his expeditions, but also of his childhood, naval career, marriage, and of the age in which he lived.
Preston writes a moving account of the life and death of a very complex man, however, she does not excuse his faulty decision making methods.
Reviewed by sc, 8/99. Other reviews by sc.