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The use and abuse of dogs on Scott’s and Amundsen’s South Pole expeditions


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Murray, C 2008 , 'The use and abuse of dogs on Scott’s and Amundsen’s South Pole expeditions' , Polar Record, vol. 44, no. 231 , pp. 303-310 , doi: 10.1017/S0032247408007493.

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In the century since Roald Amundsen and Robert F. Scott led the first and second expeditions to reach the
South Pole, commentators have frequently passed judgement on the different means of transport that the two explorers
employed. In hindsight, and since he ‘won,’ they have consistently praised Amundsen for using dogs exclusively and
criticised Scott for not doing the same. Surprisingly, however, almost no attention has been given to the experience of
Amundsen’s dogs, whose extreme suffering seems to have vanished into a collective blind spot. Here, with the aim of
restoring balance to one part of the vexed historiography of the two explorers, that record is set straight. Amundsen’s
troubled and contradictory attitude towards his animals is also explored and common misconceptions about Scott’s
views on the use of dogs for transport are confuted.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Murray, C
Journal or Publication Title: Polar Record
ISSN: 0032-2474
DOI / ID Number: 10.1017/S0032247408007493
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© 2008 Cambridge University Press

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