Art & Life: Postcard biographies from the National Portrait Gallery

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After the success of the first series of postcard biographies taken from the NPG's archives, this is a new series of specially commissioned 70-word biographies of and by major figures of today

Ranulph Fiennes on Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912)

In 1898 the Royal Geographic Society determined that Britain should claim the South Pole. They selected Navy man Scott despite his lack of polar credentials. His initial forays were dogged by controversy with rival Shackleton. Then his main man-haul attempt was outdone by "doggy" Amundsen. His great but tragic 1912 journey was nonetheless the zenith of the heroic age of exploration and subsequent critics do not include the polar aware.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes c Howell/Stroud/Fiennes.

Captain Robert Falcon Scott c NPG.