During fifty years of involvement with 'the great south land', thousands of Australians have shared the experience of the grandeur and deprivations of this forbidding continent with their counterparts from many nations. This history was first published in 1996 and has now been revised and expanded by the author. It traces the patterns of human activity, in Antarctica from the southern journeys of the sixteenth century to the modern expeditions of adventurers and tourists. Using material from books, diaries, letters and fresh research, Stephen Martin illuminates the main themes of Antarctic history with the personal stories and images of the men and women who explored, worked and lived in this frozen and remote continent. A History of Antarctica is about the people of Antarctica: those who have chosen to endure the risks and enjoy the rewards of conquering the worlds most forbidding land.
The author was senior librarian and researcher at the Mitchell Library in Sydney, and has unrivalled knowledge of its Australiana collections, which include original works by Frank Hurley and other noted photographers and artists who braved hazardous conditions in Antarctica during the 1800s and early 1900s, and the personal diaries, journals, ships logs and letters from dozens of explorers and scientists.