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Suggested reading

Below follows a list of tips for reading and inspiration before your trip.

Roland HUNTFORD / The Last Place on Earth.

Huntford’s absorbing dual biography is a rousing tale of hardship, technical challenge, political ambition, and fortitude. This is the still controversial book published 20 years ago that effectively deconstructs the much mythologized Robert Falcon Scott. Clearly an admirer of Amundsen, Huntford interweaves the story of the two expeditions, contrasting Amundsen’s well planned campaign with the many follies of Scott’s ill-fated quest.

Alfred LANSING / Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage.

An extraordinary tale of survival that reads like a good novel. It’s the gripping day-by-day story of Shackleton’s legendary perseverance: losing his ship in the ice, drifting helplessly across the Weddell Sea, and finally reaching Elephant Island, from where he sailed 800 miles to South Georgia to get help for his stranded men.

Ernest SHACKLETON / Escape from the Antarctic.

Shackleton’s own account of his extraordinary 800-mile voyage to South Georgia, published in 1919

Peter MATTHIESSEN / End of the Earth, Voyaging to Antarctica.

In this fine book, the result of two voyages, Matthiessen captures the magic of polar landscapes and wildlife, along with the camaraderie of a ship-based polar expedition.

Meredith HOOPER / The Ferocious Summer, Palmer’s Penguins and the Warming of Antarctica.

Meredith Hooper brings to life the thrill, perils, and complexity of Antarctic fieldwork, documenting in vivid detail Bill Fraser’s decades-long work on the Adelie penguins in the vicinity of Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Wayne LYNCH / Penguins of the World.

In this handsomely produced book photographer, naturalist and expedition leader Wayne Lynch interweaves stories of penguins, their biology and ecology, along with hundreds of colour photographs. Much of the book focuses on the penguins of the Antarctic Peninsula, Falklands and South Georgia.

Stephen J. PYNE / The Ice.

A classic work on Antarctica written by a leading American environmental historian. The book contains chapters on Antarctic science, history, exploration, geopolitics, and environment, and alternates these with somewhat poetic meditations on the meaning of Antarctic ice ranging from icebergs to the ice sheets. This book isn’t for everybody, but for many it is one of the best books written about Antarctica.

Tony SOPER / Antarctica, A Guide to the Wildlife.

Designed for the field, this compact handbook features all the species of birds, seals and whales the traveller is likely to encounter on a voyage to Antarctica. It includes concise essays on each species, range maps and masterful colour drawings by Dafila Scott, the granddaughter of Captain Scott. Someone was bound to write this handy field guide and we couldn’t be happier that it is friend and colleague Tony Soper — a veteran expedition leader who is as congenial as he is mad about birds.