Dancing on IceBook - 2008
In 1930, charismatic Gino Watkins led a group of fourteen men (including the author's father) to the Arctic. It was the dawn of commercial air travel, and their goal was to discover an air route between Europe and America.
The explorers were courageous and physically strong, but they were unprepared for the hostile conditions they would face over the next year. Learning from their Inuit guides, they hunted for seals and passed the long dark nights of winter as best they could. But for one man, August Courtauld--alone on the ice cap and cut off from his fellow explorers for six long months--it would be an unbelievably harrowing experience.
Jeremy Scott paints an enthralling portrait of two lost worlds: the Inuit hunters of the polar regions and the "Brideshead" generation of young Englishmen. His action-packed and lyrical tale is one of triumph and tragedy, where innocence and optimism come face to face with devastating extremes of mental and physical endurance.
The storms were a bombardment, an assault on the frail shelter protecting them, a sustained battering on the nerves and mind. . . . They were enduring it together, but what must it be like to suffer it alone? The Eskimos believed white devils whirled and shrieked within the blizzards, but what vile monsters might solitude give birth to in one man alone? Unadmitted and undiscussed, at the back of all their minds crouched the horror that Courtauld might go mad.