Pub. Date:
A Polar Affair: Antarctica's Forgotten Hero and the Secret Love Lives of Penguins

A Polar Affair: Antarctica's Forgotten Hero and the Secret Love Lives of Penguins

by Lloyd Spencer Davis


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Wednesday, October 27


A captivating blend of true adventure and natural history by one of today’s leading penguin experts and Antarctic explorers.

George Murray Levick was the physician on Robert Falcon Scott’s tragic Antarctic expedition of 1910. Marooned for an Antarctic winter, Levick passed the time by becoming the first man to study penguins up close. His findings were so shocking to Victorian morals that they were quickly suppressed and seemingly lost to history.

A century later, Lloyd Spencer Davis rediscovers Levick and his findings during the course of his own scientific adventures in Antarctica. Levick’s long-suppressed manuscript reveals not only an incredible survival story, but one that will change our understanding of an entire species.

A Polar Affair reveals the last untold tale from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. It is perhaps the greatest of all of those stories—but why was it hidden to begin with? The ever-fascinating and charming penguin holds the key. Moving deftly between both Levick’s and Davis’s explorations, observations, and comparisons in biology over the course of a century, A Polar Affair reveals cutting-edge findings about ornithology, in which the sex lives of penguins are the jumping-off point for major new insights into the underpinnings of evolutionary biology itself.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643136028
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 10/13/2020
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 718,222
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lloyd Spencer Davis received the PEN (NZ) Best First Book Award for Nonfiction for Penguin: A Season in the Life of the Adelie Penguin. He is the author of Looking For Darwin, which won the CLL Writer’s Award, New Zealand’s most significant nonfiction award. Lloyd has been a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, an Anzac Fellowship, and a Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award.

Table of Contents

Prologue vii

Part 1 The Lure Of Antarctica 1

Homosexuality 3

1 Victorian Values 5

2 Terra Australis 15

3 The Three Norwegians 27

Part 2 All Roads Lead to Cape Adare 43

Divorce 45

4 First Observations 47

5 Boyhood Dreams 59

6 Lost Opportunities 73

7 Courtship 88

8 Deception 100

9 The Eastern Party 112

Part 3 Cape Adare 127

Infidelity 129

10 The Northern Party 131

11 The Worst Journey 142

12 The Reluctant Penguin Biologist 153

13 The Race Begins 165

14 Competition 176

15 Timing 186

Part 4 After Cape Adare 199

Rape 201

16 Hooligans 203

17 Weather 218

18 Dogs 230

19 Winter 243

20 Return Journey 255

Part 5 After Antarctica 273

Prostitution 275

21 The Depravities of Men 277

22 After the War 296

23 The Pole at Last 308

Further Reading: Key References 327

Acknowledgments 331

Endnotes 333

Index 349

Customer Reviews