POLAR HISTORY



See also: Nautical History and Nautical Dictionaries

  • Snow Widows.
  • Erebus - The Ice Dragon.
  • The Ship Beneath The Ice.
  • Antarctica.
  • The Worst Journey in the World
  • A Young Man's Antarctic Discovery
  • Against The Ice
  • Shackleton. A Bigraphy
  • Madhouse at the End of the Earth
  • We Three Go South
  • South. Stanford Travel Classic
  • South. Orange Classic
  • Shackleton's Boat Journey
  • Endurance
  • Endurance - Lansing
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    SNOW WIDOWS
    By Katherine MacInnes. Softcover, 0.38kg. 130mm x 200mm, 497 pages. Published 2023

    Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s polar party were heroes of their age, enduring tremendous hardship further the reputation of the empire they served by reaching the South Pole before dying on the return journey. But they were also husbands, fathers, sons and brothers. In this gripping and remarkable feat of historical reconstruction, Katherine MacInnes vividly depicts the lives, loves and losses of five women forced into the public eye by tragedy and shaped by the unrelenting culture of empire. A fresh and fascinating perspective on a well worn story, as well as a window onto a lost world.

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    EREBUS - THE ICE DRAGON
    By Colin Monteath. Hardback, 1.66kg. 224mm x 2362mm, 350 pages, full colour photographs. Published 2023

    Haunting and searingly beautiful, Erebus has attracted explorers, mountaineers, artists and scientists; each drawn to the mountain by their own particular vision or curiosity.

    The mountain is a truly unique geological phenomenon - an active volcano sheathed in ice, with hundreds of ice caves, steaming towers 6 metres high around its summit and a lava lake.

    Also, in the minds of many New Zealanders, it is a place of destruction and despair, wrought by a single momentous accident.

    Antarctica veteran Monteath weaves history, science, art and adventure into a compelling tale, supported by superb images selected from his lifetime of working and voyaging in the area

    NZ$65.00 + Delivery

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    THE SHIP BENEATH THE ICE
    By Mensun Bound. Paperback, 0.55kg. 157mm x 233mm, 403 pages. Full colour and Black & White photographs. Published 2023

    On November 21, 1914, after sailing more than ten thousand miles from Norway to the Antarctic Ocean, the Endurance finally succumbed to the surrounding ice. Ernest Shackleton and his crew had navigated the 144-foot, three-masted wooden vessel to Antarctica to become the first to cross the barren continent, but early season pack ice trapped them in place offshore. They watched in silence as the ship’s stern rose twenty feet in the air and disappeared into the frigid sea, then spent six harrowing months marooned on the ice in its wake. Seal meat was their only sustenance as Shackleton’s expedition to push the limits of human strength took a new form: one of survival against the odds.

    As this legendary story entered the annals of polar exploration, it inspired a new global race to find the wrecked Endurance, by all accounts “the world’s most unreachable shipwreck.” Several missions failed, thwarted, as Shackleton was, by the unpredictable Weddell Sea. Finally, a century to the day after Shackleton’s death, renowned marine archeologist Mensun Bound and an elite team of explorers discovered the lost shipwreck. Nearly ten thousand feet below the ice lay a remarkably preserved Endurance, its name still emblazoned on the ship’s stern.

    The Ship Beneath the Icechronicles two dramatic expeditions to what Shackleton called “the most hostile sea on Earth.” The author, Mensun Bound, experienced failure and despair in his attempts to locate the wreck, and, like Shackleton before him, very nearly found his vessel frozen in ice.

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    ANTARCTICA. A HISTORY IN 100 OBJECTS
    By Jean de Pomereu & Daniella McCahey. Hardback, 0.89kg. 195mm x 255mm, 216 pages. Published 2022

    This stunning and powerfully relevant book tells the history of Antarctica through 100 varied and fascinating objects drawn from collections around the world.
    It presents a gloriously visual history of Antarctica, from Terra Incognita to the legendary expeditions of Shackleton and Scott, to the frontline of climate change.

    Some of the details and images include:

  • Snow goggles adopted from Inuit technology by Amundsen
  • The lifeboat used by Shackleton and his crew
  • A bust of Lenin installed by the 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition
  • The Polar Star aircraft used in the first trans-Antarctic flight
  • A sealing club made from the penis bone of an elephant seal
  • The frozen beard as a symbol of Antarctic heroism and masculinity
  • Ice cores containing up to 800,000 years of climate history

    A book that is both endlessly fascinating and a powerful demonstration of the extent to which Antarctic history is human history, and human future too.

    NZ$55.00 + Delivery

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    THE WORST JOURNEY IN THE WORLD
    By Apsley Cherry-Garrard. Paperback, 0.59kg. 130mm x 196mm, 607 pages. Published 2022

    Apsley Cherry-Garrard was just 24 when he sailed to the Antarctic with Scott. During a mission to collect Emperor penguin eggs Cherry’s tent blew away and the cold was so extreme it shattered his teeth

    Later, he was one of the men to find Scott’s body. Despite the horrors, this book is filled with fascinating details of scientific discovery, unforgettable descriptions of landscape and a belief in the spirit of human beings. It remains a gripping story of courage friendship, endurance and adventure.

    This is a reprint edition with an introduction by Sara Wheeler

    NZ$45.00 + Delivery

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    A YOUNG MAN'S ANTARCTIC DISCOVERY
    By Maureen Lee. Softback, 0.56kg. 195mm x 245mm, 173 pages. Published 2022

    1901. A likeable young Christchurch man talks his way into joining Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Expedition to remote Antarctica.
    Also on baord as the ship departs New Zealand: 46 men, 25 Dogs, 3 cats and 50 Sheep.

    Clarence (Clarry) Hare's diary, now being published for the first time, records life on a small wooden ship in sub-zero temperatures without modern comforts, and includes a thrilling account of being lost in a blizzard for 46 hours.

    NZ$40.00 + Delivery

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    AGAINST THE ICE
    By Ejnar Mikklesen. Softback, 0.25kg. 140mm x 210mm, 206 pages. Black & White Photos. This Edition Published 2022
    The Classic Arctic Survival Adventure Story.

    Ejnar Mikkelsen was devoted to Arctic exploration. In 1910 he decided to search for the diaries of the ill-fated Mylius-Erichsen expedition, which had set out to prove that Robert Peary’s outline of the East Greenland coast was a myth, erroneous and presumably self-serving. Iver Iversen was a mechanic who joined Mikkelsen in Iceland when the expedition’s boat needed repair.

    Several months later, Mikkelsen and Iversen embarked on an incredible journey during which they would suffer every imaginable Arctic travail: implacable cold, scurvy, starvation, frostbite, snow blindness, plunges into icy seawater, impossible sledding conditions, Vitamin A poisoning, debilitated dogs, apocalyptic storms, gaping crevasses, and assorted mortifications of the flesh. Mikkelsen’s diary was even eaten by a bear.

    Three years of this, coupled with seemingly no hope of rescue, would drive most crazy, yet the two retained both their sanity as well as their humor. Indeed, what may have saved them was their refusal to become as desolate as their surroundings…

    (Originally published as Two Against the Ice)

    Was NZ$35.00 + Delivery
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    SHACKLETON. A Biography
    By Ranulph Fiennes. Softback, 0.32kg. 130mm x 200mm, 403 pages. Sepia, Colour Photos. Smaller Format Edition Published 2022
    An authoritative biography of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

    In 1915, Sir Ernest Shackleton's attempt to traverse the Antarctic was cut short when his ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice.
    The disaster left Shackleton and his men alone at the frozen South Pole, fighting for their lives.
    Their survival and escape is the most famous adventure in history.

    Shackleton is an engaging new account of the adventurer, his life and his incredible leadership under the most extreme of circumstances.
    Written by polar adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes who followed in Shackleton's footsteps, he brings his own unique insights to bear on these infamous expeditions.
    Shackleton is both re-appraisal and a valediction, separating the man from the myth he has become.

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    MADHOUSE AT THE END OF THE EARTH
    By Julian Sanction. Softback, 0.29kg. 127mm x 198mm, 358 pages. 2022

    In August 1897, the young Belgian commandant Adrien de Gerlache set sail for a three-year expedition aboard the good ship Belgica with dreams of glory. His destination was the uncharted end of the earth: the icy continent of Antarctica.

    But de Gerlache’s plans to be first to the magnetic South Pole would swiftly go awry. After a series of costly setbacks, the commandant faced two bad options: turn back in defeat and spare his men the devastating Antarctic winter, or recklessly chase fame by sailing deeper into the freezing waters. De Gerlache sailed on, and soon the Belgica was stuck fast in the icy hold of the Bellingshausen Sea. When the sun set on the magnificent polar landscape one last time, the ship’s occupants were condemned to months of endless night. In the darkness, plagued by a mysterious illness and besieged by monotony, they descended into madness.

    As the Belgica’s men teetered on the brink, de Gerlache relied increasingly on two young officers whose friendship had blossomed in captivity: the expedition’s lone American, Dr. Frederick Cook—half genius, half con man—whose later infamy would overshadow his brilliance on the Belgica; and the ship’s first mate, soon-to-be legendary Roald Amundsen,

    Drawing on the diaries and journals of the Belgica’s crew and with exclusive access to the ship’s logbook, the author brings novelistic flair to a story of human extremes, one so remarkable that even today NASA studies it for research on isolation for future missions to Mars.

    Equal parts maritime thriller and gothic horror, Madhouse at the End of the Earth is an unforgettable journey into the deep.

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    WE THREE GO SOUTH.
    By Ethel Richardson. Cynthia Cass. Paperback, 0.50Kg, 210mm x 240mm, 151 pages, Sepia and coloured paintings and drawings. Published 2014.
    Features the diary of Ethel Richardson who, with her two sisters, made a voyage to the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand in 1890 when they were aged 18 to 24.

    Cynthia Cass talks about her book and her connection to the three intrepid women....

    "They travelled on the government steamship “Hinemoa” which serviced lighthouses around the coast and was establishing castaway depots for survivors of shipwrecks on the southern islands. Ethel Richardson was my great aunt. Her eldest sister on the right in the photo is my grandmother who married the ships carpenter from the Hinemoa. They settled on the farm near Pahiatua where I live today.

    The diary and an accompanying sketch book have some delightfully amusing drawings of their daring escapades as they journeyed from Wellington round the south of the South Island then to the Snares Auckland, Campbell, Antipodes and Bounty Islands. They displayed an ability to make fun from the simplest of things and teased the sailors on board unmercifully".

    "I visited the Islands in 2001 and 2007 and have produced a series of paintings which were shown at various exhibitions when the book was launched. The paintings attempt to show what the islands are like and the book is a fascinating insight into the life of young women of the day. Clad in long dresses and high buttoned boots, they had little to protect them from the freezing conditions but they appeared to be willing to row boats and ramble over rocky terrain with gusto. The description of their landing on the Antipodes illustrates how intrepid they were. A sketch of them going after parakeets on the Antipodes shows that these islands are one of the few places on earth where wild beauty has existed unchanged for over a hundred years."

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    SOUTH, The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedtion. 1914-1917
    By Sir Ernest Shackleton.Paperback,0.37kg. 130mm x 200mm, 316 pages. This Edition Published 2021

    Ernest Shackleton sailed to the South Pole as the First World War broke out in Europe, intent on making the first ever trans-Antarctic crossing. South! is Shackleton’s first-hand account of the expedition, which he describes as ‘the last great journey on earth”.

    During the journey their ship, the Endurance, became trapped by ice and was crushed, forcing the men to survive in and escape from one of the world’s most hostile environments.

    With no hope of rescue, Shackleton and four others set sail in a small open boat on a 600-mile crossing to South Georgia. Shipwrecked on the uninhabitable side of the island, they were forced into making the first ever winter crossing of the island, all the time threatened by brutal cold and hunger.

    South! made Shackleton’s name as an explorer . The dramatic story, one of the most astonishing feats of polar escapology, remains as enthralling as when it was first published in 1919

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    SOUTH.The Endurance Expedition.
    By Sir Ernest Shackleton. Paperback, 0.25kg. 110mm x 180mm, 418 pages. Penguin Orange Classic Edition. 2008
    One of the greatest survival stories of all time. In 1914 Shackleton led a party of men hoping to be the first to traverse the Antarctic, but when their ship became crushed by ice 350 miles for land, the expedition soon became a matter of life and death.

    This is the extraordinary account of treacherous seas, glaciers and relentless cold, and wonderfully encapsulates the heroic age of Exploration.

    NZ$20.00 + Delivery

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    SHACKLETON'S BOAT JOURNEY
    By F. A. Worsley. Pbk, 135mm x 215mm, 220 pages, monochrome photographs.
    This boat journey has as recently as 2001 been described as the longest and most arduous small boat journey on record. The author, Captain Frank Worsley, was a New Zealander who was also the Captain of Shackleton's ship Endurance. He was selected to accompany Shckleton and three others on the 800 mile boat journey because of his superior navigational ability, his considerable experience in sailing and handling small boats, and his great stamina, strength and positive attitude.
    It is a miracle that the journey succeeded, concluding as it did with the crossing on foot of South Georgia to summon help from a whaling station. This has only been accomplished once since then, by expert climbers using modern equipment and starting from a fitness base of rest, excellent health and proper feeding.
    Worsley was known as an excellent story-teller (one reason why he appealed to Shackleton), and his book is an absorbing narrative. It complements Shackleton's own account in South - the only other contemporary record of these events. It is very well illustrated with large photographs taken by Frank Hurley, inluding some of the final pictures taken with a "hand-held".

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    ENDURANCE.
    By F.A. Worsley. Paperback, 139mm x 209mm, 310 pages. Monochrome photographs.
    First published in 1931, Endurance relates the riveting account of Sir Ernest Shackleton's doomed 1914-16 expedition to the Antarctic and its incredible rescue: After HMS Endurance stuck in Antarctic ice packs and then sank into the Weddell Sea, it's twenty-five crew members were forced to launch three lifeboats and sail, in miserable conditions, for barren Elephant Island. From there, Shackleton, Frank Worsley (captain of the Endurance), and four others set off in the largest of the lifeboats, the James Caird, to seek help eight hundred miles away at the whaling stations on the island of South Georgia. Endurance is not only a tale of courage and unrelenting high adventure but also a tribute to one of the most courageous leaders in the history of exploration.

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    ENDURANCE.
    By Alfred Lansing. Paperback, 138mm x 209mm, 357 pages. Monochrome photographs.
    In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day’s sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men.

    For ten months the ice-moored Endurancedrifted northwest before it was finally crushed between two ice floes. With no options left, Shackleton and a skeleton crew attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of South Atlantic’s heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization. Their survival, and the survival of the men they left behind, depended on their small lifeboat successfully finding the island of South Georgia – a tiny dot of land in a vast and hostile ocean.

    In Endurance, the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton’s fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.

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    POLAR HISTORY



    See also: Nautical History and Nautical Dictionaries

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