In 1911 the world was watching, waiting, hoping, attention focused on a desolate spot at the very end of the earth, as two men raced to conquer the South Pole. A hundred years after Roald Amundsen's triumph and Robert Scott's tragic demise, our fascination with the Antarctic remains as acute as ever. On the centenary of their epic expeditions, this book traces our search for the South Pole, from the earliest encounters with Antarctica's icy waters, through the Heroic Age to modern times. In addition to the words of Scott and Amundsen, vivid descriptions from the logbooks, journals and narratives of pioneers such as Carsten Borchgrevink, Ernest Shackleton and Douglas Mawson provide first-hand experiences of this enigmatic and unforgiving region. In our own times, there is commentary from modern explorers and travellers, writers and scientists, who explain what the South Pole means to them. Among those featured are Edmund Hillary, Vivian Fuchs, Ranulph Fiennes and Borge Ousland. Stunning images by Herbert Ponting and Frank Hurley, and from the personal collections of explorers and adventure photographers, as well as contemporary ephemera and artefacts, illustrate the hardships of life on the ice. The authors have woven together the narrative of this enduring human quest with individual stories to place the Scott-Amundsen race in historical context and consider its legacy in the manhaulers, extreme skiers and adventure tourists of today. In the 21st century the South Pole remains an international stage for ambition and personal endeavour. For anyone who has felt the pull of this magnetic place - this is the book for you.
Huw Lewis-Jones is a historian and former Curator of Art at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. He is the author of Polar Portraits and Ocean Portraits in Conway's Face to Face series. Formerly Visiting Fellow at Harvard University, and Curator of Imperial and Maritime History at the National Maritime Museum, London, Huw is also a consultant within media and broadcasting and an expert in maritime and polar exploration history. Kari Herbert first started travelling at the age of 10 months when her father, the pioneering explorer Sir Wally Herbert, took his family to live with a tribe of Inuit for over two years on a remote island off the coast of Northwest Greenland. Her first book, The Explorer's Daughter, was chosen as 'Book of the Week' by BBC Radio 4. She is the founding director of Polarworld, an independent publishing company that specialises in the polar regions.