Savours, Ann 1927–

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Savours, Ann 1927–

(Ann Margaret Savours)

PERSONAL: Born November 9, 1927, in Stoke-on-Trent, England; daughter of Edgar Walter (a civil engineer) and Doris Margaret (a teacher and poet) Savours; married Laurence George Samuel Shirley (a postmaster and counselor), November 18, 1961 (died, January, 2003); children: John Alexander, Nicholas Savours. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Royal Holloway College, University of London, B.A. (with honors), 1949; Sorbonne, University of Paris, diploma in French civilization, 1950; graduate study at Burslem School of Art, 1950–51. Religion: Anglican. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, travel.

ADDRESSES: Home—Canterbury, Kent, England. Agent—Bruce Hunter, David Higham Associates, 5-8 Lower John St., Golden Sq., London W1R 4HA, England.

CAREER: University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, library assistant, 1952–54; Cambridge University, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England, assistant librarian and curator of manuscripts, 1954–66; National Maritime Museum, London, England, assistant keeper, 1970–73, custodian of manuscripts, 1973–77, responsible for Arctic gallery, 1977–87; retired, 1987. Australian National University, honorary research fellow, 1960–61; British Council lecturer in Australia, 1989; seminar participant. Member of Cambridge Spitsbergen Physiological Expedition, 1955, and Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition, 1960; also member of Centre for Rupert's Land Studies, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

MEMBER: Royal Geographical Society (member of council, 1978–80), Hakluyt Society (member of council; vice president, 2002), Society for Nautical Research (member of council until 2000), Society for the History of Natural History, James Caird Society, Prayer Book Society, National Trust, Society of Archivists, Friends of the National Maritime Museum, Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute, Naval Club, Arctic Club, Geographical Club.

AWARDS, HONORS: Selection as "best book of the sea," Marine Society, 1994, for The Voyages of the "Discovery": The Illustrated History of Scott's Ship; D.Litt., University of Kent at Canterbury, 2001; Murchison Award, Royal Geographical Society, 2001.


Catalogue of MSS of Polar Interest in Australia and New Zealand, Scott Polar Research Institute (Cambridge, England), 1963.

(Editor) Edward Wilson, Diary of "The Discovery": Expedition to the Antarctic Regions, 1901–1904, Blandford Press (London, England), 1966, Humanities (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1967.

(Editor) Scott's Last Voyage: Through the Antarctic Camera of Herbert Ponting, Sidgwick & Jackson (London, England), 1974, Praeger (New York, NY), 1975.

The Voyages of the "Discovery": The Illustrated History of Scott's Ship, Virgin (London, England), 1992.

(Editor, with H.G.R. King) Polar Pundit: Reminiscences about Brian Birley Roberts, Scott Polar Research Institute (Cambridge, England), 1995.

The Search for the North-West Passage, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

The North West Passage in the Nineteenth Century: Perils and Pastimes of a Winter in the Ice, Hakluyt Society (London, England), 2003.

Contributor to books, including Tasmanian Insights: Essays in Honour of Geoffrey Thomas Stilwell, State Library of Tasmania (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia), 1992; Compassing the Vast Globe of the Earth, Studies in the History of the Hakluyt Society, 1846–1996, Hakluyt Society (London, England), 1996; and Meta Incognito: A Discourse of Discovery; Martin Frobisher's Arctic Expeditions, 1576–1578, Canadian Museum of Civilisation (Hull, Quebec, Canada), 1999. Contributor to Geographical Journal, History Today, Mariner's Mirror, Arctic, Scottish Naturalist, and Polar Record.

Savour's writings have also been published in Dutch.

SIDELIGHTS: Ann Savours told CA: "I would describe my subject as the history of polar exploration, both Arctic and Antarctic. I became a member of the staff of the Scott Polar Research Institute in 1954. There I got completely hooked on the story of the many expeditions that had departed from the shores of England, and later Great Britain, to wrestle with huge ice floes, great fields of ice, often in fog, in ships without engines and no reliable system of navigation. The periodical Polar Record had been published by the institute since the 1930s, and it provided a vehicle for articles on topics that had either never been written about before or which needed a fresh examination. Then the proceedings of conferences on polar history, or wider geographical exploration, would lead me in 1981 to publish original papers. One of the former was organized by Professor Louis Rey in one of the splendid meeting rooms of the Vatican, where I spoke about the Phipps expedition of 1773, which aimed to reach the North Pole. It is best known as the voyage during which a young Horatio Nelson tried to shoot a polar bear, but to me it was fascinating because it encapsulated, just for one season, the great scientific and artistic circumnavigations of the eighteenth century. No account of it had been published since that of Captain Constantine John Phipps, commanding the British ships Racehorse and Carcass in 1774. My books have largely been written because they needed to be!"



Library Journal, October 15, 1999, review of The Search for the North-West Passage, p. 82.

New York Times Book Review, November 7, 1999, review of The Search for the North-west Passage, p. 20.