Triumph of Will

Review:

Mawson's Will - Lennard Bickel

Not nearly as literary as Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s The Worst Journey in the World but still page turning exciting and awe inspiring. Bickel doesn’t mention many sources but we have to assume he had Douglas Mawson’s own The Home of the Blizzard Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914 to go by and presumably his diaries. Up to a certain point he has Xavier Mertz’s diary as well but I’m still not sure how Bickel fills in all the blanks so definitively particularly after Mertz dies. There is a three chapter excerpt from The Home of the Blizzard Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914 in my edition covering the same timeframe as Bickel.

Anyway, another smashing good read about a polar expedition where about everything that could go wrong did, up to a point. Somehow Australian Mawson alone, having lost or left behind most of his food and gear, suffering from starvation, snow blindness, vitamin A poisoning, and scurvy manages to literally crawl and roll downhill a good part of the way back to where he started and survive to boot.

Few know about Mawson due to the fact that his saga was overshadowed by the Scott-Amundsen race to the South Pole and the subsequent disaster that happened to the Scott party on the way back around the same time.

Original post:
Gumbywan.booklikes.com/post/1207599/triumph-of-will

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