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By: D Yelverton
472 pages, B/w illus
A three-dimensional account, almost entirely based on original sources, that will ring true to those who have travelled in the footsteps of the pioneers, this book tells the full story of an expedition that has been largely erased from public perception by the drama of Scott's second expedition a decade later. The book's many new insights into an historic British achievement, and its immediate aftermath, should allow an altogether fairer estimation of its ranking in the annals of 20th Century exploration than it has been accorded in the last twenty years. Hampered by an Admiralty, jealous of civilian control of an expedition for which they would have to provide men, and restricted by budgetary restraints unknown to the Germans, whose parallel expedition, funded almost entirely by their government, is recounted in summary form, this was an expedition that: first penetrated the interior of Antarctica, opening the way to a century of research, in the region of its discoveries, that has yielded benefits to everyone on the planet; discovered more about Antarctica than six other expeditions that went south at the dawn of the 20th century; brought back key evidence of the existence of an Antarctic continent rather than a polar archipelago, at that time the greatest prize for geographers and scientists alike; effectively located the 'lost' South Magnetic Pole, so vital to southern hemisphere navigation before the era of satellites; was anything but the prisoner of outdated naval tradition, the methods adopted being almost entirely those expounded by the Norwegian explorer, Nansen, who described its results as "magnificent" - even the number of dogs used was based on the famous explorer's North Pole attempt.
A book for aficionados of the Antarctic scene, wonderful detail, first-rate appendices... -- The Naval Review, Autumn 2001. "The most thoroughly researched polar book of the last forty years..." -- Colin Bull.
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