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Antarctic and the Arctic

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  • The Siege of the South Pole – The Story of Antarctic Exploration – Hugh Robert Mill – First Edition 1905

    The Siege of the South Pole – The Story of Antarctic Exploration – Hugh Robert Mill – First Edition 1905

    A First Edition published 1905 by Alston Rivers, London. This is Hugh Robert Mill’s cornerstone book on the exploration of the Antarctic from Cook to the first Heroic era Expeditions. It provides a well written, balanced and chronological account of events to that date.

    Rare in the original decorated green cloth covered binding. Condition pretty good bar some fading to the spine and a mark to the rear board. Internally really quite bright and crisp. Carries the ownership inscription of J. H. Shackleton Bailey most likely the Rev John Henry Shackleton Bailey who was Chaplain in the Royal Navy at the time.

    In our opinion this is the book relating to pre-1905 antarctic exploration. Starting with the quest to find the Great South Land. The achievements of James Cook. The American Sealers. Bellinghshausen, Weddell, the Enderby Brothers, Dumont D’Urville, Wilkes, James Clark Ross, the Challenger Expedition, Gerlache, Bruce and the Scotia etc.

    Importantly, the large folding map (86cm by 76cm) which is often missing from the book due to its size and interest is present and in very good condition … the best we have seen. Some book robbers remove this map and sell it for more than the price we have on this copy! Naughty.

    Important Antarctic Book that “bookends” the Heroic era very nicely – distinguished relevant author. A must have for Polar/Antarctic serious.


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  • Australia and the Antarctic – The John Murtagh Macrossan Lecture – 1960 – Phillip Law

    Australia and the Antarctic – The John Murtagh Macrossan Lecture – 1960 – Phillip Law

    Phillip Law (1912-2010) was born at Tallangalta and educated at Hamilton, Ballarat and then Melbourne University where he achieved an MSc in Physics. During WWII he wished to join the RAAF but was persuaded to stay at Melbourne University working on weapons research.

    His first trip to the Antarctic was in 1947 and from 1949 to 1966 he was Director of ANARE, heading a total of 23 voyages and expeditions. Over the period over 5,000 kms of Antarctic coastline was surveyed and much inland. The Mawson, Davis and Casey Stations were established.

    A super lecture nicely presented here in the usual Macrossan Lecture style. Octavo, 22 pages, illustrated with charts and images from photographs. Law describes the challenges and achievements during his involvement to date … super detail in such a succinct format.

    Distinguished writer, historian, bibliophile Geoffrey Ingleton’s copy with his bookplate. A very clean crisp copy.

    Scarce Antarctic Ephemera from Phillip Law


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  • Voyage Through the Antarctic – Richard Adams and Ronald Lockley

    Voyage Through the Antarctic – Richard Adams and Ronald Lockley

    A first edition published by Allen Lane, London in 1982.

    Richard Adams, author of Watership Down struck up a friendship with Ronald Lockley author of The Private Life of the Rabbit whilst researching for Watership. This friendship led to making a full Antarctic voyage on the Linblad Explorer from Tierra del Fuego to Stewart Island of South Island New Zealand.

    As would be expected an observant and well written narrative with a super selection of photograph’s taken on the voyage by Peter Hirst-Smith … well he did take three thousand from which to make the selection.

    Small quarto, 160 pages, numerous illustrations from photographs, nice chart etc …a very good copy.

    Adams and Lockley in the Antarctic and not a rabbit in sight.


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  • Heroes of the Polar Seas – J. Kennedy Maclean – 1910

    Heroes of the Polar Seas – J. Kennedy Maclean – 1910

    Title continues … A Record of Exploration in the Arctic and Antarctic Seas by J Kennedy Maclean. Published by Chambers Edinburgh, thick octavo, 404 pages. Magnificent pictorial boards, well illustrated with two maps of the top and the bottom. Some spotting and spine ends a bit pulled, otherwise a pretty good copy.

    The pictorial boards may give the impression this was for a younger audience. The quality of the content and writing suggest the market was father and son.

    Written chronologically with an introduction of “Gains and losses of Polar Enterprise” before the “Pioneers”. The search for the North-west passage and Franklin and much about his horrors. Nares and then the fatal “Jannette” an incredible story often lost in these accounts. The discovery of Franz Josef Land and the North-east Passage by Nordenskiold. Peary and the success of the North Pole after twenty years … and Cook.

    In the South, Scotland’s share of the then exploration and Scott’s Discovery Expedition. Shackleton’s Farthest South (so close) and the great race for the Pole.

    At the time of publication the race to the pole had just been won and the tragedy of Scott’s expedition known but not fully understood. Tributes had begun to flow.

    A Voyager favourite … an obscure but relevant Polar item.


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  • The B.A.N.Z. Antarctic Research Expedition (1929 -1931) The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, London – August 1932

    The B.A.N.Z. Antarctic Research Expedition (1929 -1931) The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, London – August 1932

    The Journal of the RGS in the familiar blue wrapper, 97-192 pages, after preliminaries, large folding coloured map of the relevant Antarctic region, plus another regarding a new track through the Rockies. Period advertisements etc. Complete and in good condition. A scarce journal.

    Sir Douglas Mawson’s report is the main vent in this journal of the RGS read at the meeting by Professor Debenham on Mawson’s behalf. The report is followed by appendices of Scientific Results and Sightings of Land. After the great Hugh Robert Mill thanking Debenham expressed regret that Mawson could not be there and provided some interesting further information gleamed from his personal contact with the great Australian.

    Other reports of interest include the changing climate of Southern Turkistan, the fate of Colonel Fawcett (which has given rise to a number of books and should be made into a movie) and, a very good report on the aforementioned new track through the northern Rockies.

    Mawson’s BANZ Antarctic report to the RGS with special map.


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  • Polar Item – Scott Centenary (1912 – 2012) – Christie’s Sale

    Polar Item – Scott Centenary (1912 – 2012) – Christie’s Sale

    One of the collectable Christies/ Bonham Polar Sale Catalogues.

    Christies Travel, Science and Natural History Catalogue with a special emphasis on the Antarctic and the Scott Expeditions. Quarto, 60 pages illustrated to the expected impeccable standard.

    Some exceptional travel items catalogued with a good Australian and Pacific content. Includes forty pages of unique Antarctic items that will make any enthusiast salivate.

    Our favourites … Mawson’s specimen boxes, Shackleton’s sledge harness, letters from Apsley Cherry-Garrard to his mother (“I sleep under Bowers. It is going to be a very warm hut and we live very well here”), Ponting’s best photographs and Scott’s marching compass. Well we like it all really. We all missed the boat on this one!

    Unique Polar items and other travel delicacies


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