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Antarctic and the Arctic

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  • The South Pole – An account of the Norwegian Expedition in the “Fram” 1910-1912 – Roald Amundsen – Queensland University Facsimile 1976

    The South Pole – An account of the Norwegian Expedition in the “Fram” 1910-1912 – Roald Amundsen – Queensland University Facsimile 1976

    Facsimile edition, and a scarce one, published under the moniker of the University of Queensland Press in 1976. The original edition was published in 1912 and is highly collectable. Two volumes bound as one making it quite an impressive book in stature xxv, 392 pages; x, 449 pages. Illustrated from the original with plates and maps, one folding of each. A very good copy in a very good dust jacket.

    The first to the pole. Account of Amundsen’s legendary dash to the Pole. He beat Scott’s Expedition by a month reaching the Pole on 14th December 1911. The use of dog sleds, better clothing, nutrition and a single minded purpose are factors that put Amundsen ahead of Scott.

    Norwegian Captain Roald Amundsen had initially intended make an expedition to the Arctic, but changed his plans at the last moment and announced he would try for the South Pole instead. His explanation to the public was that if he could beat the English and Japanese expeditions to the Pole then he could secure success and funds for his extensive Arctic expedition, and also snatch the prize for his own country.

    Amundsen sailed southward in the Fram to the Bay of Whales that would afford his expedition both the shortest route to the Pole and a route that would not overlap with either the Japanese or the English expeditions. From start to finish, Amundsen’s expedition ran like clockwork. He carefully planned every moment of the trip, using his experience in the Arctic and his extensive knowledge of dog-teams to help him through. His team was entirely Norwegian, accustomed to a harsh and cold climate, and were excellent ski-runners. In addition, Amundsen travelled light; he brought five men and fifty dogs on his expedition so that the latter could eventually serve as food for the former. Part of what doomed Scott’s party was the fact that he favoured men and ponies over dogs, bringing twelve men, eight ponies, and only twenty-six dogs.

    Amundsen’s party remained in excellent health and always had enough to eat from their plentiful provisions at their well-stocked supply depots. They also supplemented their food stores with a great seal hunt just before the winter, after which 120,000 lb. of fresh seal meat were added to their stores, which helped protect them against scurvy.

    Unlike Scott’s party, Amundsen’s party were also fortunate enough to have favourable weather conditions on their side, so that they were able to reach the Pole using their supply depots and dog sleds in just 99 days, a distance of 1860 miles, covering an astonishing average of 19 miles a day over frozen and difficult ground. Their journey was truly an extraordinary accomplishment, and Amundsen’s account of it is no less riveting

    Amundsen – Fine facsimile of The South Pole published by Queensland University

    $140.00

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  • The Voyage of the “Scotia” – Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration in the Antarctic Seas By R.N. Rudmose Brown, J.H.H. Pirie and R.C. Mossman

    The Voyage of the “Scotia” – Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration in the Antarctic Seas By R.N. Rudmose Brown, J.H.H. Pirie and R.C. Mossman

    A facsimile of the rare first published by Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh in 1906. This edition by ANU, Canberra in 1978.

    The original small quarto this octavo, 375 pages with numerous illustrations and a chart of the track of the Scotia; a map of Laurie Island South Orkneys and a large folding chart at the rear … Bathymetrical Survey of the South Atlantic Ocean and the Weddell Sea. A fine copy. The piper on the front is naturalist Burn Murdoch … the first person to play the bagpipes on the Antarctic … and also in the Arctic … quiet an achievement.

    With an additional forward by Sir George Deacon which adds greatly to our understanding of the expedition leader William Spiers Bruce and his colleagues who were joint authors of this account

    William Spiers Bruce (1867-1921) was born in Edinburgh and was Scotland’s greatest polar scientist and oceanographer. His greatest accomplishment is recorded in this account, leading the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (1902-1904) to the South Orkney Islands and the Weddell Sea, where they conducted the first oceanographic explorations and discovered the northern part of the Caird Coast. They established the first permanent weather station in the Antarctic. Bruce would not write the popular account of the expedition so it fell to his three lieutenants to write this much admired work.

    Bruce had previously been on the Dundee Whaling Expedition (1892) having given up medical studies to participate. In between he participated in Arctic Voyages to Novaya Zemlya, Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land. He wanted to joined Scott’s Discovery Expedition but it is said that he fell out with Markham and therefore organised his own Scottish expedition. He was a good friend of Mawson and provided gear towards Mawson’s later expedition.

    The Scottish expedition, an early one with significant achievements, often overlooked.

    $140.00

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  • High Latitudes – A History of Swedish Polar Travels and Research – Gosta Liljequist

    High Latitudes – A History of Swedish Polar Travels and Research – Gosta Liljequist

    Published in 1993 a monumental book by Polar Participant Professor Gosta Liljequist who was metrologist in the Norwegian-British-Swedish expedition to the Antarctic in 1949-52 and also leader of the 1957-58 expedition to Svalbard … so he is in here.

    Weighting nearly 3 kgs so pricey to mail Overseas, cannot be found elsewhere in Australia. Largo quarto, 606 pages, with many illustrations from expedition photographs, maps, charts etc a worthy production. Very good copy in a very good dust jacket.

    Hard to summarise but we start with the Pioneers 1758-1863 including Anton Martin, the first scientist to go truly North. Involvement with the French Le Recherche Expedition; then Otto Torell and Spitzbergen and his later expeditions to the Aeolus Group north of Svalbard. Quennerstedt’s zoological studies in the west Ice in 1863.

    Then we have the Nordenskiold Epoch between 1863-1883 and here for sure too much to write about at both ends of the World. If you haven’t got the book on the Vega this covers it with many other ventures.

    We move through some interesting low budget expeditions that did much for the dollar spent and on to Andree and the ill-fated balloon attempt … the searching for him and his companions was a lengthy event and a good Noir movie was made out of it.

    We are only a third through and too many highlights to record here. Interesting side stories – the Arctic flight of the German Graf Zeppelin in 1931 – then the attempt from Stockholm to New York.

    The Many Swedish Polar Achievements all in one place. Never again.

    $290.00

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  • Sitting on Penguins [An Antarctic Diary] – Stephen Murray-Smith

    Sitting on Penguins [An Antarctic Diary] – Stephen Murray-Smith

    A fine edition first edition of this provocative and we believe misunderstood book by the opinionated Murray-Smith.

    HS spent the summer of 1985-86 in the Antarctic and this represents his diary interspersed with history, information and opinions and views on individuals and the greater Australian objectives and achievements in this icy world.

    Octavo, 249 pages, illustrated and with end paper maps. A fine as copy as you will get. Published by Hutchinson in 1988. the jacket looks a bit strange front right but that’s what it’s like.

    PS never sit on a penguin!

    Murray-Smith a honed Antarctic diary with views and opinions that could still shape the future.

    $30.00

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  • Beyond the Frozen Sea – Visions of Antarctica – Edwin Mickleburgh

    Beyond the Frozen Sea – Visions of Antarctica – Edwin Mickleburgh

    A first edition published by The Bodley Head, London in 1987. Large octavo, 256 pages, endpaper maps, charts and great photographs throughout. Very good condition

    Much admired by the late Sir Peter Scott which makes it a winner for Voyager on that fact alone.

    This book is for one not only interested in the history of the discovery of Antarctica but also the preservation of its natural resources and environment.

    In the history we have from Cook and an interesting reference to Coleridge and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner [Spurred Voyage on to find a special copy]. Then the first sighting, perhaps first landfall, over-wintering and the heroic era.

    Moving to resources the best narrative we have read on the devastation of the seal colonies … island to island. Mineral resources, changes [then] in weather patterns, preservation of the krill, the Treaty and the reality of its working … food for thought with a big renewal coming up not too far off.

    In terms of depth and breadth of content a big book on the Antarctic.

    $35.00

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  • Encyclopedia of Exploration 1850 to 1940 – The Oceans, Islands and Polar Regions.

    Encyclopedia of Exploration 1850 to 1940 – The Oceans, Islands and Polar Regions.

    An as new copy of this great work by the unique Raymond Howgego, published by the equally unique Hordern House in 2006. Part of a greater series of works likely not yet complete … but the modern era will be a challenge despite Everest etc. This one stands on its own partly because of the Polar emphasis …

    A comprehensive [understatement] reference guide to the history and literature of exploration, travel and colonisation in the oceans, the islands, New Zealand, and the polar regions from 1850 to the early decades of the twentieth century.

    Large quarto, x, 724 pages, containing 521 major articles, referencing 3000 odd individuals, in over 700,000 words all cross referenced to primary and secondary sources … indexes of persons, ship, bibliography 14,000 works) etc.

    The format is interesting, perhaps a little challenging … Entries begin with leaders of expeditions and if there is more than one expedition these are dealt with as separate chronological entries i.e., Scott, Amundsen, Charcot etc. Major members then follow the principal … so Frank Wild for example follows Shackleton. Separate entries summarise activity by location e.g., New Guinea, New Zealand, St Helena etc.

    Raymond Howgego was teacher of physics before he gave that up to become a full-time traveller and travel writer. Possibly put down more words than any other living person. Seemingly can handle almost all European languages and Arabic and probably a few others. He still has an interest in amateur radio and fixing electronic items … we withhold his call sign, but you can find it if you try.

    As new Howgego on the Island etc and the Polar Regions.

    $260.00

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