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Mawson : And the Ice Men of the Heroic Age: Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton - Peter FitzSimons


And the Ice Men of the Heroic Age: Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton


Published: 1st November 2011
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Published: 26th October 2011
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The story of Australia’s most famous polar explorer and the giants from the heroic age of polar exploration: Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton.

Douglas Mawson, born in 1882 and knighted in 1914, was Australia's greatest Antarctic explorer.

On 2 December 1911, he led an expedition from Hobart to explore the virgin frozen coastline below, 2000 miles of which had never felt the tread of a human foot. After setting up Main Base at Cape Denision and Western Base on Queen Mary Land, he headed east on an extraordinary sledging trek with his companions, Belgrave Ninnis and Dr Xavier Mertz.

After five weeks, tragedy struck. Ninnis was swallowed whole by a snow-covered crevasse, and Mawson and Mertz realised it was too dangerous to go on. With the scant food and provisions they had left, turning back was almost equally perilous. Their dwindling supplies forced them to kill their dogs to feed the other dogs, at first, and then themselves. Hunger, sickness and despair eventually got the better of Mertz, and he succumbed to madness and then to death. Mawson found himself all alone, 160 miles from safety, with next to no food.

Peter FitzSimons tells the staggering tale of Mawson's survival, despite all the odds, arriving back just in time to see his rescue ship disappearing over the horizon. He also masterfully interweaves the stories of the other giants from the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration - Scott of the Antarctic, Sir Ernest Shackleton and Roald Amundsen - to bring the jaw-dropping events of this bygone era dazzlingly back to life..

About The Author

Peter FitzSimons is the author of over 20 books - including Tobruk, Kokoda and biographies of Nancy Wake' Kim Beazley' Nene King' Nick Farr-Jones' Les Darcy, Steve Waugh and John Eales - and was Australia's bestselling non-fiction writer in 2001, 2004 and 2006.


Easy-read history with humour


This book is mainly about Mawson but, to get the context, it includes lots of background involving Scott and Shackleton. Despite the detail, it is far from boring and easy to read with a casual, sometimes humourous style. It took me some months to get through but it was worth it and I would read it again.




4.0 1


Mapsp. xi
Relief drawing of Ross Island, the Great Ice Barrier and surroundsp. xvii
Background and Acknowledgementsp. xviii
Author's Notep. xxv
Prologuep. 1
Introduction Discovering Antarcticap. 9
With Shackleton
Go South, Young Man, Go Southp. 51
Into the Night and Out into the Wildernessp. 93
Getting Homep. 130
Three Men Get Organised
Australian Heroesp. 171
Departuresp. 209
Journey to the Bottom of the Earthp. 242
Trails and Errosp. 279
Antarctica Under Siege
Under Wayp. 309
To the South!p. 354
Cape Denisonp. 394
Settlingp. 443
The Winter Monthsp. 482
Into the Wide White Yonderp. 521
A Close-Run Thingp. 563
Now Is the Winter of Our Discontentp. 601
Epiloguep. 657
Notes and Referencesp. 682
Bibliographyp. 713
Indexp. 721
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.
Peter FitzSimons

Peter FitzSimons is one of Australia's most prominent and successful media and publishing identities.

His busy professional life involves writing weekly columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald newspapers, appearing on Foxtel's The Back Page television show and, when time permits, authoring best-selling books. A correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph as well, he is also in high demand as a guest speaker and presenter.

For the past two decades, the much-traveled former Wallaby rugby international, who masters four languages, has interviewed some of the world's most famous figures, including former US President George Bush, Mother Theresa and football great Diego Maradona.

Writing is his passion. He is the biographer of World Cup winning Wallaby captains Nick Farr-Jones and John Eales, former Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, war heroine Nancy Wake, former Australian Test cricket captain Steve Waugh and magazine queen Nene King.

In 2001 he was Australia's biggest selling non-fiction author with just under 250,000 sales. He duplicated that feat in 2004 with his book on Kokoda and had similar success in 2006 with his book on Tobruk.

Born on a farm in NSW's Central Coast, Peter FitzSimons attended Knox Grammar School in Sydney before accepting an American Field Service Scholarship to live in Ohio for a year. He returned to complete an arts degree at Sydney University, majoring in government and political science.

A second-rower, he won Wallaby selection in 1984, later moving to France and Italy where he played rugby for the next five years. On his return to Australia he again played for the Wallabies going on to play seven Test matches.

He launched his journalistic career with the Sydney Morning Herald in 1989. Two years later he released two best-selling books, Basking in Beirut and Little Theories of Life and signed a contract with the Nine Network that resulted in him presenting current affairs and sports programs for the next four years. His association with Foxtel commenced in 1995 and continues to this day.

Considered one of the ten most popular after-dinner speakers in Australia, Peter FitzSimons is married to Nine Network personality Lisa Wilkinson and they have three children.

To read Peters's revealing answers to the Booktopia Book Guru's TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS - and to leave a comment - CLICK HERE

Visit Peter FitzSimons's Booktopia Author Page

ISBN: 9781741666601
ISBN-10: 1741666600
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 768
Published: 1st November 2011
Publisher: Random House Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.8  x 6.2
Weight (kg): 1.05
Edition Number: 1