Scott, Robert Falcon (1868 – 1912)

Scott assures Edgar Evans’ wife that her husband is “certain to be in the best of health”

A remarkable and poignant four-page autograph letter signed by Robert F. Scott, “R. Scott”, Winter Quarters (Cape Evans, Antarctica), October 1911, to Mrs. Evans (the wife of Edgar Evans, a member on this ill-fated final expedition), on the printed stationery of the British Antarctic Expedition, Terra Nova.

Writing in fountain-pen ink on the eve of his last journey southwards to the Pole, Scott expresses the high admiration he has for his correspondent’s husband, “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 and will be very disappointed if he isn’t able to come. So I write to you to tell you that he is very well indeed, very strong and in very good condition.” The explorer continues to inform Mrs. Evans, “It is possible we may not finish our work this year and in that case he will stop with me for a second season”

Scott goes on to reassure his correspondent, “If so you must try and remember that he is certain to be in the best of health and that it will be all the better when he does come home. When that time comes I hope he will get some good billet and not have to leave you again. He is such an old friend of mine and has done so well on this Expedition that he deserves all I can do for him.” Scott concludes his letter by remarking “So I must hope you won’t be anxious or worried.”

A poignant letter which, as with others written at this time, would probably not have arrived in London until 11th May 1912, three months after Evans’, and indeed Scott’s, tragic death. Letter folds, with a small tear to the right edge of page three, away from the text. Some very light age wear and minor traces of former mounting, otherwise in fine condition. One of the most remarkable letters by Scott to have been offered for private sale, and one of the last known letters to be penned by him.