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Mawson's Will by Lennard Bickel

Mawson's Will (original 1977; edition 1999)

by Lennard Bickel (Author)

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226474,035 (4.28)8
Title:Mawson's Will
Authors:Lennard Bickel (Author)
Info:Adventure Library (1999), 274 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Adventure Library

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This Accursed Land by Lennard Bickel (1977)


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An engaging story set in the early 1900’s during the height of artic and polar exploration.

Rated as one of the 10 best books of 20th century exploration by The Explorer’s Club, Lennard Bickel chronicles the incredible story of Australian Douglas Mawson’s 1911-1913 Antarctic Expedition. Less renown than several of his counterparts including Amundsen, Shackleton, and Scott, he did, however, lead one of the greatest scientific and discovery expeditions of his day.

This relatively short read is less about his and his several team’s exploits, but more about the endured hardships and will to survive while continually faced with some of the harshest elements on this planet.

Sub zero cold, constant 50-60 mile/hr winds, frequent hurricane force conditions with blowing snow instead of rain; and all the while fighting some of the most dangerous across ice trekking conditions possible. Not just a few miles, but weeks upon weeks and hundreds upon hundreds of miles with almost no let up of suddenly disappearing into an unseen crevasse. False starts, miles of backtracking or suddenly watching your sled dogs disappear from view as the snow bridge collapses beneath them.

It was a captivating read; and worthy of the 4 to 5 rating just for the story by itself. I stayed with the “5”, but if there was a shortfall, it would be my perception that perhaps the book was written in a style or at a level leaning slightly to close towards an overview. At times there seemed insufficient character development to draw you into feeling as part of the story line and circumstances encountered. Never the less, it is still a great book.

( )
  whwatson | Mar 7, 2014 |
Vitamin A dose

leads to illness. Lone Mawson

lived by willpower. ( )
  librarianlk | Jul 12, 2008 |
The book could really use a good editor, but the story is so compelling that it is hard to put down. ( )
  tomsk7 | Nov 28, 2006 |
1911-1913, exploring west of Cape Adare.
Ninnis falls down a crevasse, Mertz dies of Vitamin A toxicity, but Mawson survives.
Ripping yarn from "The Heroic Age".

I read it years ago but its impact remains. ( )
  pouleroulante | Dec 28, 2005 |
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U.S. editions have title: Mawson's will.
U.K. and Australian editions have title: This accursed land.
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300 miles from base camp Mawson lost one of his two companions and most of his supplies down a crevasse. Soon after the surivors' attempt to claw back to base began, his other companion died in the horrendous conditions they had to bear. This disaster and his 6-week solo journey back to base make up the thrilling narrative of this book.… (more)

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