The Home of the Blizzard. Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914. Sir Douglas MAWSON.
The Home of the Blizzard. Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914.
The Home of the Blizzard. Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914.
The Home of the Blizzard. Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914.
The Home of the Blizzard. Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914.
The Home of the Blizzard. Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914.
The Home of the Blizzard. Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914.
The Home of the Blizzard. Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914.

The Home of the Blizzard…
The Home of the Blizzard. Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914.

London: William Heinemann, 1915.

Two volumes, large octavo, with photogravure frontispiece in each, numerous plates (18 coloured, nine folding panoramas), and three folding maps in end-pocket of volume 2; original blue pictorial cloth with silver vignette on front boards, neat early ownership inscription on front flyleaves; a very good set, with two related documents (see note).

Mawson's harrowing tale of survival

First edition of this classic account of Australian Antarctic exploration: 'One of the most gripping Antarctic Stories' (Conrad). This copy includes two original letters (see below) suggesting that it may once have belonged to Edward "Teddy" Evans, Scott's second-in-command and successor on the Terra Nova expedition.

First edition of this classic account of Australian Antarctic exploration: 'One of the most gripping Antarctic Stories' (Conrad). This copy includes two original letters (see below) suggesting that it may once have belonged to Edward "Teddy" Evans, Scott's second-in-command and successor on the Terra Nova expedition.

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 2 December 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.

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.

Loosely tipped in to this set are two documents:

1. Friendly autograph letter signed from Mawson to "Dear Teddy Evans" (i.e. Edward Evans, later 1st Baron Mountevans). The two-page letter is written on both sides of University of Adelaide notepaper. Dated simply "Thursday", it was written to Evans during his visit to Australia in 1948. Mawson and his wife have enjoyed Evans's visit; sorry not to have entertained him more than they did, but no doubt his hosts the Bonythons showed him a good time; it would be possible for Evans to meet up in Melbourne, where he goes next, with both John King Davis and John Rymill, and Mawson provides details.

2. Retained carbon copy of typed letter from Evans to Mawson, "My dear Doug" responding to Mawson's suggestions about meetings with Davis and Rymill.

Renad, 1021; Rosove, 217.A1a; Spence, 774; Taurus, 100.

Condition Report: The original cloth just very slightly rubbed at extremities, but generally in good bright condition; rear hinges opening and others weak.

Price (AUD): $4,000.00

US$2,908.75   Other currencies

Ref: #5000562

Condition Report