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Item #: PL134A
THE HOME OF THE BLIZZARD - BEING THE STORY OF THE AUSTRALASIAN ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION, 1911-1914. Mawson, Douglas 1998 Hc
By Mawson, Douglas
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1998, Recent reprint. 438 pp, 87 bw photos, 11 maps, 10 sketches.  'One of the most gripping Antarctic Stories' (Conrad). Initially intending to be a member of Scott's party, Mawson decided to command his own expedition and organised the first official Australasian Antarctic Expedition. The expedition left Hobart in the Aurora on December 2, 1911 to systematically explore the areas of Antarctica known as King George V Land and Terra Adelie. 
 
Despite extraordinarily harsh conditions the expedition achieved a great deal: over 2000 miles of unknown Antarctic coastline was charted and the scientific discoveries were so extensive that their publication continued well into the 1940s (see catalogue item). Mawson's narrative of the expedition is fascinating reading, but most compelling is his account of his epic journey to return to base camp at Cape Denison during which his two companions perished - one falling down a crevasse with the dog team and most of the food, supplies and the tent.
 
His struggle to survive on toxic rations which caused severe stomach cramps, made the soles of his feet detach, and his hair to fall out in clumps, is one of the most extraordinary tales of survival ever told. Mawson's first expedition was an epic of endurance and this, and his subsequent work in the Antarctic, form the most significant basis to Australia's claim to its extensive Antarctic territory. Hardcover, DJ, New.

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