Madigan's Account: The Mawson Expedition – The Antarctic Diaries of C. T. Madigan 1911 - 1914: Madigan, J. W.
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Madigan's Account: The Mawson Expedition – The Antarctic Diaries of C. T. Madigan 1911 - 1914

Author(s): Madigan, J. W.

Copyright: 2012, Madigan, Australia
Specifications: 1st, thick 8vo, pp.viii, 608, photo frontis, 169 bw photos, 12 illus, appendices, illus eps, pictorial cloth
Condition: issued w/o dj, cloth w/ corner bumps from shipping, else new

These diaries describe the experiences of Cecil Thomas Madigan (1889 – 1947) in Antarctica as a member of the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by Douglas Mawson. These are the most thorough published diaries from an expedition member other than Mawson himself. Madigan was the expedition meteorologist and a member of the largest party of eighteen men based at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay. He gives his account of the first year; of the wondrous environment he found himself in, the living conditions and relationships formed, the care of the polar dogs, the hardships endured and the happy times enjoyed, and the preparations for the sledging journeys of exploration which, apart from the collection of data and specimens during that year, were the principal reason for the expedition. These journeys commenced at the end of the first year with five parties, consisting of three men each, going out for two month explorations – Southern (or Magnetic Polar), Near Eastern, Eastern Coastal, Western, and Far Eastern. Madigan was in charge of the Eastern Coastal Party. When Mawson’s Far Eastern Party failed to return on time Madigan became the leader of the six members who opted to remain behind for a second winter and await Mawson’s return. The second year was decidedly different from the first.

Madigan’s forthright diaries have been kept secret for 100 years until now. He is the only member of the expedition to publicly question Mawson’s ability, although later he felt ashamed of what he had written of Mawson. The publication of these diaries, in their entirety, by Madigan’s great granddaughter has been several years in the making and includes many previously unpublished images. This book weighs four pounds.

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