Antarctic tiles

The Translations

South Georgia: Gateway to Antarctica
Ludwig Kohl-Larsen Translated by William Barr

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South Georgia has been the gateway to the Antarctic for many of the early expeditions to the continent. Ludwig Kohl-Larsen first visited the island in 1911 as the doctor on the Otto Nordenskjöld expedition. Appendicitis cut short his time with the expedition but seeing South Georgia kindled in him an enthusiasm for returning to the Antarctic. He married Captain Larsen’s daughter and used his close connections with the Larsen family to return to the Antarctic, first in 1924 on board the first whaling factory ship (Sir James Clark Ross) to operate in the Ross Sea and then, in 1929, to travel around South Georgia and film the wildlife. 

Along with his wife and a photographer he spent a summer camped in various parts of the island, exploring the interior on skis, collecting natural history specimens and filming. This is the story of this private expedition, translated for the first time from German. Kohl-Larsen went on to become an important anthropologist, studying the Lapps in Scandinavia, and nomadic tribes first in Persia and later in East Africa. 

304pp, 214 x 136mm, hardback, jacketed, over 40 photographs and maps
£24.95  REDUCED TO £15.00   Order

Voyage of the Belgica - Fifteen Months in the Antarctic
Adrien de Gerlache - Translated and with an introduction by Maurice Raraty

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The Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897-9 was the most cosmopolitan of the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration - and one of the most lucky. Led by Lt. Adrien de gerlache of the Royal Belgian Navy it was underfunded from the start and ill prepared to overwinter in the pack ice. Despite being stuck in the ice for almost a year the ship survived without serious damage. The mixture of nationalities - Belgian, Polish, Norwegian, American, Rumanian, Russian - ensured that communication was always a problem and this was exacerbated when they were all trapped inside the cold, damp ship in the winter. That all ended well was largely due to just four men: the American doctor Frederick Cook, the Norwegian second mate, Roald Amundsen, the Belgian first mate, George Lecointre and de Gerlache himself. The earliest known photographs of Antarctica were taken during this expedition. 

256pp, 245 x 160mm, hardback, illustrated £37.50  REDUCED TO £20.00 Order

Towards the South Pole aboard the Français
The First French Expedition to the Antarctic, 1903-1905
J-B. Charcot

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The First French Expedition to the Antarctic set sail in August 1903 under the command of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, the 35-year-old son of a well-to-do neurologist. Charcot did not want to follow in his father’s footsteps, being more interested in a life at sea, but to please him he studied and graduated as a doctor in 1895. His father had died two years earlier, leaving his son with a quite reasonable fortune which gave him the chance to pursue his original interests in the sea and ships. During his disagreements with his father over his choice of career he would always say, when his father objected to his yearning to sail, ‘but why shouldn't I?’, and so was born the name of four of his ships - Pourquoi Pas? The next few years saw him sailing the waterways of France, Holland, England and around Ireland until in 1902 he sailed to Iceland and the Faroes with a commission from the French Naval Ministry. He reached the Arctic Circle and his taste for polar voyaging was established. On his return he commissioned a new vessel to be built, originally naming it Pourquoi Pas? but in June 1903, renaming it Francais

By this stage, Charcot, though an amateur, had become quite well known as a traveller and explorer, though Captain Scott referred to him - with possibly a touch of disparagement - as ‘the polar gentleman’. When Charcot first decided to sail to the Antarctic he consulted the Belgian, Adrien de Gerlache, who had recently returned from his own voyage in the Belgica. On 15 August 1903 the Francais set sail, with de Gerlache on board, having been persuaded by Charcot to join the expedition. Unfortunately this did not work out and de Gerlache left the ship at the first opportunity. Charcot had designed the ship in such a way that every man could have a private space of his own and he was particularly proud of his choice of comestibles - and wine - and the fact that fresh bread was baked three times a week. 

His diary reveals a man of culture and sensitivity. His descriptions of scenery are lyrical and emotionally charged and his sensitivity to the local wildlife was often in stark contrast to many of the other polar explorers of the day. He charted new coasts, undertook scientific work in oceanography, bacteriology, geography, geology and above all meteorology. 

This is a fascinating insight into a totally different style of Antarctic exploration and the reader will enjoy the delightful contrast between this expedition and others generally portrayed as more serious.

304pp, 253 x 174mm, hardback, cloth bound and blocked in two colours overall. Over 200 halftones, maps and drawings. £45.00/$85.00   REDUCED TO £30.00

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