Beryl Bainbridge: Birthday Boys

(2570 words)

Beryl Bainbridge’s novel The Birthday Boys was published in 1991. It was the author’s second historical novel or “faction”, after Young Adolf (1978) and retells Robert Falcon Scott’s famous and fatal expedition to the South Pole, starting with its departure from Cardiff in June 1910 and ending in March 1912. Bainbridge sticks closely to the well-known historical facts and all characters of the story are based on real persons (officers, seamen and scientists). The novel is divided into five chapters and follows the classical pattern of tragic drama beginning in medias res and evolving through peripeteia to anagnorisis. Each chapter is told by one the five …

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Hiltl, Markus. "Birthday Boys". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 October 2007
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]