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Item #: PL3454-862
MAWSON A LIFE Philip Ayres 1999 1st ed Hardcover DJ
By Ayres, Philip
Price: $49.95


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Detailed Product Description
Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1999, 1st edition. 321 pp, 20 color, 44 b/w photos (photos on glossy stock for finer detail), 5 maps. Thick hardcover, Fine with Dust Jacket. The book's many illustrations include reproductions of exquisite early colour photographs from the Antarctic expedition of 1911-14.

In the heroic age of polar exploration, Sir Douglas Mawson stands in the first rank. His Antarctic expeditions of 1911-14 and 1929-31 resulted in Australia's claiming 40 per cent of the sixth continent. The sole survivor of an epic 300-mile trek, Mawson was also a scientist of national stature.

Philip Ayres has now uncovered, from many unpublished sources, a complex and interesting figure. He portrays Mawson the geo-politician with influential friends and rivals who, in 1942, offered his services to Prime Minister Curtin as Ambassador to Washington. In the Antarctic darkness of 1913, he confronted the bewildered delusions of a companion who believed himself to be Jesus Christ. During the Great War, he compiled detailed reports on chemical weapons during visits to the vast war factories of England.

Ayres also shows us the devoted husband of Paquita; the social Mawson of the Adelaide Club; the scientist within his national and international networks; the geologist who in 1924 failed to get the Sydney Chair; and the litigious Mawson, suing or threatening suit against associates who failed him.

In this biography, Philip Ayres not only illuminates Douglas Mawson's many achievements but also enables us to know and understand him as a human being.



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