579: Stephen Percy: I’ll Be Waiting: The Whaling Letters of Syd Percy & Mary Taylor 1937 to 1938

“I’ll Be Waiting” consists of  the edited letters between Stephen Percy’s parents from 1937 to 1938 in the six months before they were married. His father was on a one-off commercial whaling expedition to Antarctica for Unilever. So, in addition to being a love story, the letters include a lot of eye-witness detail about the cruel business of catching and processing whale meat for industrial use, a trade he came later to reject. As correspondence during a courtship, the letters also include many references to popular culture of the time and grim foreboding about the coming of war.

“We are now well in mid-ocean, rather more than half way to Aruba. It’ll be rather interesting to see a bit of land again, after all this time upon the broad bosom of the ocean.”

“I’ll Be Waiting: The whaling letters of Syd Percy and Mary Taylor 1937 to 1938” are edited by Stephen Percy and published privately in 2012. Stephen Percy has donated this book to many marine libraries in the UK and around the world and has a copy in the Heritage Museum in South Georgia. He also donated it to the Sea Library ❤️

Photos by Anna Iltnere / Sea Library

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