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The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the Fram, 1910-1912
     

The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the Fram, 1910-1912

by Roald Amundsen, A. G. Chater (Translator)
 

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Before Sir Ernest Shackleton's exploration of the Antarctic waters in 1914, Captain Roald Amundsen led a courageous team through ice-chocked waters to become the first expedition to reach the South Pole in 1911. Read the fascinating account of his journey in The South Pole.

"Roald Amundsen planted the Norwegian flag on the South Pole on December 14,

Overview

Before Sir Ernest Shackleton's exploration of the Antarctic waters in 1914, Captain Roald Amundsen led a courageous team through ice-chocked waters to become the first expedition to reach the South Pole in 1911. Read the fascinating account of his journey in The South Pole.

"Roald Amundsen planted the Norwegian flag on the South Pole on December 14, 1911: a full month before Robert Falcon Scott arrived on the same spot. Amundsen's 'The South Pole' is less well-known than his rival's, in part because he is less of a literary stylist, but also, perhaps, because he survived the journey. His book is a riveting first-hand account of a truly professional expedition; Amundsen's heroism is understated, but it is heroism nonetheless."
The Times of London, 23 June 2001

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the South Pole was the most coveted prize in the fiercely nationalistic modern age of exploration. In the spring of 1911 two separate expeditions left their respective camps in Antarctica in a desperate bid to achieve the glory of being first to reach the South Pole: a British party, led by Captain R. F. Scott, and a Norwegian one under Captain Roald Amundsen. The South Pole,— Amundsen's first-hand account of the expedition,— is a fascinating and highly readable history of the tenacity and perseverance of the age.

"The last of the Vikings," Roald Engebreth Gravning Amundsen was a powerfully built man of over six feet in height, born into a family of merchant sea captains in 1872. In 1903 he navigated the Northwest Passage in a 70-foot fishing boat. Soon afterwards he learned that Ernest Shackleton was setting out on an attempt to reach the South Pole. Shackleton abandoned his quest a mere 97 miles short of the Pole, but Amundsen began preparing his own expedition. Although this was the age of the amateur explorer, Amundsen was a professional: he left little to chance, apprenticed with Inuits, and obsessed over every detail.

On October 18, 1911 Amundsen's party set out from the Bay of Whales, on Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, for their final drive toward the pole. His British counterpart, Robert Falcon Scott, dependent on Siberian ponies rather than on dogs, began his trip three weeks later. While Scott clung fast to the British rule of "No skis, no dogs," Amundsen understood that both were vital to survival. Aided by exceptionally cooperative weather conditions, Amundsen's men passed the point where Shackleton was forced to turn back on December 7, and at approximately 3pm on December 14, 1911, Roald Amundsen raised the flag of Norway at the South Pole, one month before Scott's party would arrive.

A polar masterpiece of history and adventure, The South Pole is the stunning first-hand account of one of the greatest success stories in the annals of exploration. Most skillfully Amundsen constructs the expedition's character through its personalities—the cast of veteran explorers, scientists, and crew—providing insight not only into Amundsen's philosophy of exploration, but into the classical age of polar explorers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Amundsen was the supreme exponent of Polar technique. He towered above his rivals; he brought an intellectual approach to exploration and stood, as he still stands, the antipole to the heroic delusion.. . . The journey to the South Pole remains his masterpiece, the culmination of the classical age of Polar exploration and, perhaps, the greatest snow journey ever made."

-Roland Huntford,The Last Place on Earth: Scott and Amundsen's Race to the South Pole

Times of London
"Roald Amundsen planted the Norwegian flag on the South Pole on December 14, 1911: a full month before Robert Falcon Scott arrived on the same spot. Amundsen's 'The South Pole' is less well-known than his rival's, in part because he is less of a literary stylist, but also, perhaps, because he survived the journey. His book is a riveting first-hand account of a truly professional expedition; Amundsen's heroism is understated, but it is heroism nonetheless."
Booknews
Captain Amundsen's account of his Norwegian expedition's successful race aboard the to be the first to reach the South Pole was never as popular as his British competitor's diary. Includes photos, a foldout map, and appendices on the ship and scientific observations. First published in two volumes in 1912 by John Murray, London. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814706985
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
04/01/2001
Pages:
896
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.05(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Amundsen was the supreme exponent of Polar technique. He towered above his rivals; he brought an intellectual approach to exploration and stood, as he still stands, the antipole to the heroic delusion.. . . The journey to the South Pole remains his masterpiece, the culmination of the classical age of Polar exploration and, perhaps, the greatest snow journey ever made."

-Roland Huntford,The Last Place on Earth: Scott and Amundsen's Race to the South Pole

Meet the Author

Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian polar explorer (1872-1928), was the first man to reach the South Pole. He was also the first to navigate the Northwest Passage, and later may have been the first to fly over the North Pole. While flying on a rescue mission in 1928, Amundsen was killed when his plane crashed into the Arctic Ocean.

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