This is a rare edition of the first book printed on the Antarctic Continent - 'Aurora Australis', which was edited by Ernest Shackleton in 1909. The book is bound in expedition packing cases, and just 80 copies were printed.
'Aurora Australis' was compiled during the Nimrod Expedition to Antarctica led by Ernest Shackleton in 1908-1909. It is a compilation of writings and illustrations produced by members of the Nimrod Expedition to keep them meaningfully occupied during the long winter hours.
Over-wintering in Antarctica was a long, dark and potentially boring business – waiting for the time when the expedition members could get on with the work that they were there to do. So finding engaging and meaningful activities to occupy members of the expedition party during these difficult times was essential for their wellbeing.
Shackleton wrote in the preface: "Six years ago it fell to my lot to edit and print the first Antarctic publication; it is my fortune now to edit another. There are essential differences between the two efforts, for the South Polar Times was typewritten and only one copy could be issued, whereas Aurora Australis is actually printed, and therefore allows of a larger edition. Again; the labours of the Editor are light, for the bulk of the work falls on the shoulders of the Printers and Artist."
Ernest Shackleton used the pen name 'Nimmo' for his contribution of Midwinter Night, a comic verse included in the book.
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