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Last Updated: Friday, 23 April 2004, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Private buyer nets Antarctic book
Captain Scott (r)
Captain Scott (r) was involved in a bitter feud with Albert Armitage
A diary revealing a bitter rivalry between Polar explorer Robert Scott and his second-in-command has been bought by a private collector.

The Scott Polar Institute in Cambridge had hoped to buy the diary, written by Captain Albert Armitage during the 1901 to 1904 voyage to the Antarctic.

The Institute was outbid at auction by a private collector who paid 36,000. In the diary, Armitage writes of his early enthusiasm for working for Scott, but later describes their rivalry.

Rob Headland, of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, tried to raise the money needed to keep the diary for future generations, but was outbid at the last moment.

Tense conversations

The book, still almost perfect inside, had been held privately for a century.

Its pages describe the pride of Captain Armitage felt when serving under Captain Scott on an epic journey, fraught with danger and discovery, to the unknown continent.

"It is very agreeable to be associated with Captain Scott who is at once both clear-headed, amiable and considerate," he wrote on 30 October 1902.

Later he recorded tense conversations with Scott in minute detail, revealing a bitter rivalry between the two explorers.

Pages may be missing

"In such a case a diary tends to be almost a man's confessional," Mr Headland said.

"He's writing things as they occur at the time which, on reflection 24 hours or a week or so later, might be construed a little differently."

At one point Armitage wrote: "When the captain went to turn in I went to the cabin to ask the reason for his unfriendly manner towards me. After hesitating for a little...." and there it ends.

It is believed Armitage tore out the pages after Scott's death in 1912 because he felt guilty about some of the thoughts he had penned.

Scott voyage diary shows rivalry
07 Apr 04 |  Cambridgeshire
Fighting for their hero
05 Jul 03 |  Science/Nature
Antarctic Scott's lasting legacy
02 Jul 03 |  Science/Nature
Science battles for Scott's reputation
10 Sep 01 |  Science/Nature


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