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Aurora Australis K 14

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Aurora Australis

Book, entitled the ‘Aurora Australis’ which was written, printed and bound (using broken up packing cases) by the Polar Party to ward off boredom during the Winter of 1908 as part of Ernest Shackleton’s 1907-1909 expedition to the Antarctic aboard the Nimrod.

Aurora Australis was the first book to be published in Antarctica, despite the ink and plates freezing in the cold temperatures. It was a heavily illustrated publication with over one hundred and twenty pages of articles, poems and stories. It gives a fascinating insight into the daily life and experiences of the men on board. The book was edited by Shackleton, illustrated with lithographs and etchings by George Marston (Artist), printed by Ernest Joyce (in charge of dogs, sledges and stores) and Frank Wild (in charge of provisions) and bound by Bernard Day (Electrician). Shackleton encouraged the production of Aurora Australis, as one of the cultural activities which could be used to pass the time while the expedition team wintered over at Cape Royd to ensure that, as he put it “the spectre know as 'polar ennui' never made its appearance”.

The various copies (80 were printed) are unnumbered, so are often referred to by the contents printed on the venesta boards which form the covers - for example Petit Pois, Beans, Suet, Veal etc. This copy is the 'Soap' edition

The front page of this copy is signed by Earnest Shackleton.

Number: K 14
Name: Aurora Australis
Date: 1908
Maker: Nimrod Crew, 1907-09
Location: On Display