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Lennard Bickel, This Accursed Land: Douglas Mawson's incredible Antarctic journey.

Lennard Bickel, This Accursed Land: Douglas Mawson's incredible Antarctic journey, Woodslane Press, Sydney, 2010, vi + 281 pages; ISBN 978 192168 304 6.

Captain James Cook sailed into the Antarctic Circle and began investigations of the southern ocean, but it was the Russian Fabian Bellingshausen who first sighted the Antarctic land mass in 1820. Since then the white continent has fascinated explorers and adventurers and accounts of the heroic era of polar exploration continue to interest readers. Douglas Mawson was born in Yorkshire, England in 1882 but emigrated to Australia with his family when he was a toddler. Entering Sydney University at the age of 16 he graduated in engineering and science and became a lecturer at the University of Adelaide in petrology--the study of the origin and structure of rocks. He led an expedition to Antarctica in 1912 which explored large areas of the Antarctic coast, describing its geology, biology and meteorology, and more closely defining the location of the south magnetic pole. In 1916 the American Geographical Society awarded Mawson the David Livingstone centenary medal. This new account of Mawson's journey includes four maps and 31 photographs, as well as information on the survival of Mawson's hut.

Anne-Maree Whitaker

Book Review Editor

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Author:Whitaker, Anne-Maree
Publication:Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2010
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