The Home of the Blizzard
Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-1914
By Sir Douglas Mawson
JB Lippincott, Philadelphia, ~1915(ND â€” preface dated 1914), Printed in England, First US Edition and first state of publication. Two volumes, large 8vo, [xxx], 349pp.; [xiii], 338pp., with photogravure frontispiece and original tissue guards in each, numerous b/w plates, 18 full-page color plates with tissue guards, nine fold-out panoramas, three folding maps in rear end-pocket of Volume II; original blue pictorial cloth without silver vignette on front boards; errata slip bound in with title page of Volume I, in Near Fine condition. Prior ownership attractive signature on ffe of each volume, no foxing, folds or tears; Silver lettering is bright and un-worn; cloth in Near Fine condition, spines excellent. â€”Conrad, p. 208; Spence, 773; Rosove 217.A2c (with errata)
According to Rosove, the Lippincott edition should be considered the first state of publication. World War I delayed publication in England, so the plates were shipped to the US for the initial publication. The first UK edition published by Heinemann was a corrected version of the First Lippincott printing. Rosove 217.A2c is considered the most difficult of the first state publications to obtain. A Near Fine copy of Rosove 217.A2c with a tipped in notice stating this copy was presented by J.B. Lippincott â€śFor Reviewâ€ť. It appears to have been rarely, if ever, read due to the superior condition of the interior text, plates and tissue guards.
This classic account of Australian Antarctic exploration is: ‘One of the most gripping Antarctic Stories’ (Conrad). Initially intending to be a member of Scott’s party, Mawson decided to command his own expedition and organized the first official Australasian Antarctic Expedition. The expedition left Hobart in the Aurora on December 2, 1911 to systematically explore the areas of Antarctica known as King George V Land and Terra Adelie. Despite extraordinarily harsh conditions the expedition achieved a great deal: over 2000 miles of unknown Antarctic coastline was charted and the scientific discoveries were so extensive that their publication continued well into the 1940s (see catalogue item). Mawson’s narrative of the expedition is fascinating reading, but most compelling is his account of his epic journey to return to base camp at Cape Denison during which his two companions perished – one falling down a crevasse with the dog team and most of the food, supplies and the tent. His struggle to survive on toxic rations which caused severe stomach cramps, made the soles of his feet detach, and his hair to fall out in clumps, is one of the most extraordinary tales of survival ever told. Mawson’s first expedition was an epic of endurance and this, and his subsequent work in the Antarctic, form the most significant basis to Australia’s claim to its extensive Antarctic territory.
$750 - SOLD