Aurora Australis (book)

Aurora Australis (book)

"Aurora Australis" was the "first book ever written, printed, illustrated and bound in the Antarctic". [cite book |last=Shackleton |first=Ernest |title=The Heart of the Antarctic: being the story of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909 |year=1909 |publisher= Heinemann |location= London | pages= vol. 1, p.217]

Bibliographic details

"Aurora Australis" was written during the British Imperial Antarctic Expedition or the Nimrod Expedition (1908–09) led by Ernest Shackleton. Produced entirely by members of the expedition, the book was edited by Shackleton, illustrated with lithographs and etchings by George Marston, printed by Ernest Joyce and Frank Wild, and bound by Bernard Day. The production of "Aurora Australis" was one of the cultural activities Shackleton encouraged while the expedition team over-wintered at Cape Royds on Ross Island in the McMurdo Sound, to ensure that "the spectre know as 'polar ennui' never made its appearance". [cite book |last=Shackleton |first=Ernest |title=The Heart of the Antarctic: being the story of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909 |year=1909 |publisher= Heinemann |location= London | pages= vol. 1, p.216]

Because the copies of "Aurora Australis" were unnumbered, it is unclear exactly how many were produced; it is believed that one hundred copies were created, of which less than seventy have been accounted for. [cite news |first=Paul |last=Lewis |title=Shackleton's Aurora could fetch £20,000 |url=,,1729575,00.html |publisher=Guardian Unlimited |date=2006-03-13 |accessdate=2008-01-14 ] Shackleton may have originally intended to sell copies of the book on his return from the Antarctic, but instead they were all distributed among the members of the expedition and given to other "friends and benefactors of the expedition". [cite book |last=Shackleton |first=Ernest |title=Aurora Australis |year=1986 |publisher= Paradigm Press |location= Alburgh, Harleston, Norfolk | pages= p.xx]


Further reading

* Shackleton, E.. (1986). "Aurora Australis". Paradigm Press. ISBN 978-0-948285-07-3
* Shacklteon, E.. (1999). "The Heart of the Antarctic: Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909". Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-0684-8

External links

* [ Article and image by The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich]
* [ Article and images by The State Library of South Australia]
* [ Aurora Australis online using the Turning the Pages software (requires Shockwave plugin)]

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