Antarctic tiles

The Diaries and Letters

The Antarctic Diaries of Andrew Watson and Alexander Kennedy together with the paintings of Charles Turnbull Harrisson
A stunning limited edition package which includes:

- Hardback, cloth bound, blocked on cover and spine, 260pp, 70 pictures

- Hardback, cloth bound, blocked on cover and spine; 192pp 60 pictures

- 36pp + cover, soft back on art paper, 55 pictures

- 16pp + cover, booklet, 15 pictures

- removable.

Antarctic Diaries of Andrew Watson and Alexander Kennedy


All encased in a rigid slip cover.

Harrisson, Kennedy and Watson were all members of Mawson's Western party led by the legendary Frank Wild, the only person to be awarded the Polar medal with four bars.

Charles Harrisson was the biologist on Mawson’s expedition who was also an enormously talented painter. He charted the life of the Western Party through his paintings and drawings. In 1914 he tragically lost his life when the ship he was on was returning from Macquarie Island and was lost with all hands.

The fourth book is a short biography of Harrisson.
This is a limited numbered edition of 300 copies. The books will not be available separately. Price: £77.50.

Mertz & I …
The Antarctic Diary of Belgrave Edward Sutton Ninnis

Edited by Allan Mornement & Beau Riffenburgh

The Antarctic Diary of Belgrave Edward Sutton Ninnis

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On the afternoon of 10 November 1912, the Far Eastern Party, consisting of three men and seventeen dogs set off on a sledging trip. The men were Douglas Mawson, Xavier Mertz and Belgrave Ninnis. Two of these men tragically died, and only the leader, Douglas Mawson, returned after what has been described as ‘the greatest survival story in the history of exploration’. Belgrave Edward Sutton Ninnis was born on 22 June 1887. His father had sailed as ship’s surgeon on Discovery on the 1875–76 British Arctic Expedition led by Captain George Nares. It is evident from his diary that the young Ninnis was determined to follow in his father’s steps as a polar explorer though he had enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers. Whilst serving in Africa and Mauritius he made continuous efforts to obtain a position on Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition, but without luck.

Finally he felt he had to return to England on leave to seek interviews with Scott. Inside the diary is the story of a young man and his determined and ultimately successful attempt to become a polar explorer. It is a continuous record, from March 1908 to the final entry on 9 November 1912, though this book concentrates on his Antarctic endeavours. It is also the story of a fairly self-opinionated and arrogant young man who came to be liked and admired by his comrades. From the period of his acceptance on the expedition he focused on the enormity of the challenge ahead, and the diary provides a detailed record of the preparations, the voyage and the expedition itself.

Ninnis forged a strong bond with Xavier Mertz, who was 28, a graduate of Leipzig and Basel universities. He was also a champion skier, which was one of the reasons why Mawson had selected him. The story of Mawson’s epic fight to survive is well known – the story of the other two men is not. 

Hardback, jacketed, 456pp +8pp colour & 16pp b&w plates. Over 110 drawings, illustrations and maps. £35.00 REDUCED TO £25.00  Order

The Shackleton Letters

Behind the Scenes of the Nimrod Expedition

Regina W Daly

The Shackleton Letters

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Behind the Scenes of the Nimrod Expedition

Ernest Shackleton was obsessed by the Antarctic. He had written to his sister saying ‘You can’t think what it is like to walk over places where no man has walked before.’ He was disappointed at his showing during Scott’s Discovery Expedition—he had collapsed and spent much of the time as a passenger - and possibly felt that Scott had to a degree blamed him for the ultimate failure of the expedition.

He wanted to be first to the South Pole, partly for the glory but also because he felt he had to redeem himself after Scott sent him back on the relief ship in 1903, because of his “ill health”.

Raising the money for another expedition was fraught with difficulties but in 1907 he finally set sail, aboard the Nimrod .

Here, gathered together for the first time, are 156 letters and telegrams exploring the inner thoughts of an heroic man with far-reaching dreams. His emotions are revealed through personal correspondence with Scott, Dr. Edward Wilson, Sir Clements Markham and many others. They give an insight not only into the mind and character of this great explorer but into the internal politics of the time. 

The author details the history leading up to the expedition, through the trials of the year on the ice and the various journeys and then the return to England and the reception they received from the public, the press and such as the Royal Geographic Society.

Correspondence covering the dismissal of Captain England, Shackleton’s ‘bequests’ in the event of his non-return from his attempt to reach the Pole and his worries about the financial situation are included and the last section of the book reproduces Shackleton’s intimate letters to his wife, Emily, and to Elspeth Beardmore, for whom he had a deep affection. 

368pp, 235 x 165mm. Over 40 photographs and illustrations; pull-out map of Explorations and Surveys of the Expedition (440 x 430mm)

a) Hard-back, jacketed, blocked on spine. Limited edition of 450 copies individually numbered and signed by the author £27.50  REDUCED TO £25.00  Order

b) Printed paper case, 70mm flaps £15.00 REDUCED TO £12.50  Order

8 men in a crate - The Ordeal of the Advance Party of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1955–1957
Anthea Arnold. Based on the diaries of Rainer Goldsmith

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Once the pole had been ‘conquered’ by Amundsen and Scott the next great journey was the crossing of the Antarctic continent, first attempted by Filchner in 1912 and then by Shackleton in 1914. As part of the International Geographical Year the Trans-Antarctic Expedition was set up with Vivian Fuchs in charge. He would start from a base on the Weddell Sea and after reaching the Pole, continue to the Ross Sea using supply depots laid by a New Zealand team working from McMurdo and led by the conqueror of Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary. In January 1956 an advance party of eight men was left at Shackleton base to build accommodation, explore and lay depots to ease the passage of Fuchs’s team the following year.

The achievement of this expedition still resonates today but the near-death experience of the Advance Party at Shackleton Base has been largely forgotten. The eight men left behind only just survived in a dreadful Antarctic winter, living by day in a sno-cat crate and sleeping in tents at night while trying to erect a poorly designed hut with inadequate manpower and equipment. The loss of much of their stores put their survival on a knife-edge.

This account, based on the diary of the young medical officer, shows how close to disaster they came and how lucky they were to survive. Fuchs later admitted that apart from Scott’s marooned Northern Party theirs was the most severe ordeal in the history of Antarctic exploration.
144pp 16pp colour pictures, 50 photographs, paperback £12.75  REDUCED TO £10.00   Order

In the Teeth of the Wind

South through the Pole
Alain Hubert & Dixie Dansercoer

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In November 1997 two Belgian explorers crossed the Antarctic continent from the Wedell Sea to the Ross Sea on foot. . From Dronning Maud Land Alain Hubert and Dixie Dansercoer travelled for 99 days until they reached the American base at McMurdo Sound, some 3920 kilometres away.

They carried in the sledges all the supplies needed for the journey as well as scientific equipment necessary for taking ice-core samples from snows where no human had ever set foot. 

By using traction sails, specially designed for the expedition, they set many records, managing on some days to clock up distances of over 100 kilometres at amazing speeds.

This full colour book contains over 90 pictures of their trip, many maps and drawings as well as technical details of the sails and their supplies, extraordinary journey across this most inhospitable of continents...full of danger and excitement. The pictures illustrate the trials of the journey and the awesome beauty of... Antarctica.

224pp, 254 x 195mm hardback. jacketed, full colour throughout £24.95 REDUCED TO £10.00  Order

By popular demand we have reprinted two Polar titles. 

Tales Told at Tea Time
Frank Debenham

Edited by Barbara Debenham

Stories of Scott’s Last Expedition

Frank Debenham
With illustrations by Edward Wilson and the author

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Frank Debenham was a member of the scientific staff on Scott’s 1910 expedition. He conceived the idea for a Polar Institute whilst sitting in Shackleton’s hut at Cape Royds and after the death of the polar party he campaigned for a living memorial to Scott. On 26th November 1920 the Scott Polar Research Institute came into being and Frank Debenham was its first director.

When he returned from the Antarctic in 1913 he resolved not to publish any reminiscences but at the urging of many friends he published, in 1952, IN THE ANTARCTIC which deals chiefly with the three years he spent there. The book has extensive illustrations which the author hopes ‘...may convey something of the spirit of harmony which reigned in that crammed but cosy hut forty years ago’.

IN THE ARCTIC, which was first published in 1997, was written in Deb’s retirement as his way of remembering some of the people—explorers, staff, research students—who passed through his tenure as a Director of SPRI. These delightful stories are a mixture of facts and fantasy, some poignant, some amusing but all delightful. 

IN THE ARCTIC - 144pp, hardback, blocked on front and spine; over 30 photographs and illustrations £15.00  REDUCED TO £10.00

IN THE ANTARCTIC— 152pp, hardback, with printed end-papers and blocked on front and spine; over 60 illustrations £15.00   REDUCED TO £10.00

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