Another reason we came second. "The British expedition was designed entirely for scientific research," wrote Amundsen. "The Pole was only a side-issue… in my plan it was the main object."
In this gripping study, Larson explains that "scientifically exploring and systematically exploiting" was central to Empire.
On Shackleton's Nimrod expedition (1907-9), three men were dispatched to the magnetic South Pole. On the return 260-mile trek, the participants agreed they had probably never reached the pole.