Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

by Ernest Shackleton
     
 
In an age when it is fashionable to forget the achievements of great explorers comes the timely rebirth of this legendary book, penned by a band of brave British geographers whose wit and wisdom blaze like a sun beside today's lesser stars. At the dawning of the 20th century no human had reached the mysterious South Pole. Prior to setting off to Antarctica with

Overview

In an age when it is fashionable to forget the achievements of great explorers comes the timely rebirth of this legendary book, penned by a band of brave British geographers whose wit and wisdom blaze like a sun beside today's lesser stars. At the dawning of the 20th century no human had reached the mysterious South Pole. Prior to setting off to Antarctica with Captain Robert Scott in 1901, Ernest Shackleton placed an advertisement in an English paper describing who was needed for such a perilous endeavour. “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success." That expedition ended in failure and a few years later Scott died a tragic death on the frozen continent. Despite these setbacks, in 1907 Shackleton determined to lead a new scientific team back to Antarctica. He established a base camp at Cape Royds on Ross Island and built a wooden hut to serve as headquarters. Because of his prior experience Shackleton knew the dark winter months spent in these cramped quarters would test the morale of his men, so he set them to work creating the first book ever produced on the Antarctic continent. Consisting of fact, fiction, humour, prose and poetry, Aurora Australis is one of the most celebrated travel books ever written. It contains stories about the Antarctic wildlife, describes the harsh conditions suffered by the explorers and recounts their journey to the top of Mount Erebus, an active volcano surrounded by ice. With outside temperatures hovering at minus fifty degrees, the men used candles to keep the ink from freezing on the simple printing press brought from England. When completed, the text was bound in wooden covers taken from packing crates, then the spine of the book was sewn together with seal skin. An estimated one hundred copies were originally “Printed at the Sign of the Penguins,” by these gifted authors, the result of which is one of the most unique books ever created during the heroic age of exploration. Because of its rarity a first edition of “Aurora Australis” recently sold for more than $100,000. This special edition is being produced in an effort to raise awareness of the need to preserve Shackleton's original hut, along with all of the remarkable memorabilia and icebound supplies preserved within its frozen walls. Having endured nearly a century of harsh weather, and official government neglect, Shackleton's scientific headquarters still symbolizes the nobler aspects of human nature which took these talented and brave men to Antarctica. The tiny building is now listed as one of the most endangered sites in the world. Though time passes, within these pages rests the message of this brotherhood of bold men, these thinking men of action, who created a lasting literary legacy whose message of courage rings true for all time.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590482421
Publisher:
The Long Riders' Guild
Publication date:
10/28/2005
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

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