Mawson’s Huts: The Birthplace of Australian Antarctic Heritage: [Mawson]
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Mawson’s Huts: The Birthplace of Australian Antarctic Heritage

Author(s): [Mawson]

Copyright: 2008, Australia
Specifications: Collector’s signed & numbered ed #114/420, 4to, pp.192, photo frontis, 123 color & 118 bw photos, 2 figs, 5 color maps, page-ribbon, ½ blue calf & grey boards
Condition: signed by Sir Douglas Mawson’s seven grandchildren, issued w/o dj, bump to upper right corner, else new

This beautiful, large-format book presents the largest ever published collection of historic images taken by Douglas Mawson’s official photographer Frank Hurley during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE, 1911-14) – many being published for the first time. The AAE, led by Mawson who was later knighted for his efforts, was not only one of the last great voyages of the Heroic Era, it was by far the most successful of its time in scientific terms. The results of the AAE's investigations were still being published 30 years later. Mawson's team of 31 expeditioners, with an average age of just 26, established three bases – Cape Denison, Macquarie Island, and the Shackleton Iceshelf. The main one was built at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, where in January and February 1912 they built the wooden hut from Oregon and Baltic pine that was to be their home for two years. It was from here that the disaster and heroism of Mawson's far eastern sledging party continues to frame the popular perception of his legendary polar explorations. After the death of his two sledging companions, Dr Xavier Mertz and Lieutenant Belgrave Ninnis, Mawson walked for a month, starving and alone, back to Cape Denison, only to see his ship departing in the distance. The fragile wooden hut where he had to spend a further year with six companions is now a historic site, and is being conserved by the Mawson's Huts Foundation in partnership with the Australian Antarctic Division. The Mawson's Huts Historic Site consists of the main hut, magnetograph house, the transit hut, the ruined absolute magnetic hut and a memorial cross to Ninnis and Mertz, along with a plaque recording the territorial claim Mawson made on his return for one night in 1931. Also included are over 100 contemporary color images capturing the huts as they are today and the raw beauty of Cape Denison and the region’s wildlife. This is similar in format to the previous photo collection books on Frank Hurley ‘The Shackleton Voyages’ and Herbert Ponting ‘With Scott to the Pole’. This book weighs four pounds.

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