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The Home of the Blizzard  (Now Sold)

Douglas Mawson

Being The Story Of The Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914. London, 1915, William Heinemann, First U.K. Edition. Two volume set, thick over-sized octavo. Volume I, 349 pp, volume II, 338 pp. Complete, with sepia coloured frontispieces and numerous plates, including 12 panoramas, many maps, charts and sketches, some folding, 21 coloured plates with captioned tissue-guards, and three folding maps in endpocket of Volume II. This classic of polar literature combines a quest for science with one of the most exciting stories of survival, and includes important and magnificent photography by Frank Hurley. Mawson's story covers exploration in King George V Land and Adelie Land, previously almost entirely unknown. He helped chart more than 2,000 miles of coastline and several glaciers. On one excursion in 1912 with two companions, Ninnis was lost down a crevasse together with six of their dogs, most of their food rations, and important supplies. Forced to use their remaining dogs as food, Mawson and Mertz began to suffer from symptoms of Vitamin A poisoning, brought on by ingesting husky liver. Mertz finally succumbed following bouts of irrationality. Mawson had a narrow escape himself in a crevasse, and made it back to their base alone just a few hours after their ship had left. He describes seeing his ship departing, which meant he had to winter over with the six remaining men who had stayed behind to wait for him. During that winter, Mawson had plenty of time to reflect upon and to write about his experiences. In the book he more closely defines the position of the South Magnetic Pole. The Home Of The Blizzard remains a true classic of exploration, reprinted many times, and this is the First Edition. Original dark blue cloth lettered in gilt on the spines and covers, stamped silver pictorial Illustration 'leaning on the wind' on upper front covers, worn on Volume II. Publisher's blindstamped device on back covers. Both volumes with professionally re-cased spines, preserving all cloth, and with quality new and matching endpapers. Light wear to boards, bumped and slightly frayed corners on Volume I, and a few dings and stains on covers, but otherwise a tight, clean and excellent set of the scarce First Edition. Association copies, with inscription "To my Best Pal" (it was Dick Richards of the Ross Sea Party), signed by Ernest Joyce, "Joycey", and dated "12-4-23" on endpaper prior to half-title page, on both volumes, with an additional "(From his ould Shipmate)" on Volume I. Ernest Joyce, Royal Navy seaman, served on four Antarctic expeditions during the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration, under the commands of Scott, Shackleton and Mawson. Decorative Boards, VG+ condition.

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