Lennard Bickel Edmund Hillary
Mawson's Will: The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written
March 10, 2020 Comments.. 936
Mawson s Will The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written Mawson s Will is the dramatic story of what Sir Edmund Hillary calls the most outstanding solo journey ever recorded in Antarctic history For weeks in Antarctica Douglas Mawson faced some of the most

  • Title: Mawson's Will: The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written
  • Author: Lennard Bickel Edmund Hillary
  • ISBN: 9781586420000
  • Page: 296
  • Format: Paperback
  • Mawson s Will is the dramatic story of what Sir Edmund Hillary calls the most outstanding solo journey ever recorded in Antarctic history For weeks in Antarctica, Douglas Mawson faced some of the most daunting conditions ever known to man blistering wind, snow, and cold loss of his companion, his dogs and supplies, the skin on his hands and the soles of his feet thirMawson s Will is the dramatic story of what Sir Edmund Hillary calls the most outstanding solo journey ever recorded in Antarctic history For weeks in Antarctica, Douglas Mawson faced some of the most daunting conditions ever known to man blistering wind, snow, and cold loss of his companion, his dogs and supplies, the skin on his hands and the soles of his feet thirst, starvation, disease, snowblindness and he survived Sir Douglas Mawson is remembered as the young Australian who would not go to the South Pole with Robert Scott in 1911, choosing instead to lead his own expedition on the less glamorous mission of charting nearly 1,500 miles of Antarctic coastline and claiming its resources for the British Crown His party of three set out through the mountains across glaciers in 60 mile per hour winds Six weeks and 320 miles out, one man fell into a crevasse, along with the tent, most of the equipment, all of the dogs food, and all except a week s supply of the men s provisions.Mawson s Will is the unforgettable story of one man s ingenious practicality and unbreakable spirit and how he continued his meticulous scientific observations even in the face of death When the expedition was over, Mawson had added territory to the Antarctic map than anyone else of his time Thanks to Bickel s moving account, Mawson can be remembered for the vision and dedication that make him one of the world s great explorers.

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      Posted by:Lennard Bickel Edmund Hillary
      Published :2020-03-10T11:56:32+00:00

    1 Blog on “Mawson's Will: The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written

    1. Randolph Carter says:

      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 M [...]

    2. Ed Smiley says:

      The "Greatest" in the subtitle seems to be no exaggeration. I give a summary in the spoiler section of what Mawson survived, in case you think I'm kidding. But I think it's best you skip it, and just get the book.It is an amazing story, and it is one of the best in the genre. I am more or less OK with the fact that the author has detailed what Mawson "thought" and "saw", as Mawson kept fairly meticulous records (except towards the end, in a state of extreme exhaustion), and carefully measured di [...]

    3. Natasha Johnson says:

      This book has a lot if sentimental value to me. I remember my mom reading this book to me when I was a child living in Alaska and showing me the mechanics of ice bridges by laying a graham cracker across two books. It kindled my spirit of adventure and discovery!

    4. Jeannie says:

      This is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. I found it in the library by accident several years ago and read it for a home school unit study. Within a few pages my world was all about following this incredible man and his companions through their travels and trials. Home school lessons revolved around Antarctica and Douglas Mawson. This incredible and true story left me breathless and amazed. I remember talking about Mawson to anyone who would listen. If I could meet an historical [...]

    5. Thorn says:

      OH. MY. GOD. !!!!!!i'm drawn to this kind of thing, apparently.

    6. Hope says:

      Book Challenge Category: A Book Set More Than 5000 Miles From Your LocationYou can't get much farther from sunny Florida than the Antarctic! This book, reminiscent of Jack London's "To Build A Fire" (although with admittedly a happier ending), describes the harrowing survival tale of Mawson's expedition. Historically accurate and engaging for the reader, this is an excellent read-- and also why I like sunny weather! Moral of the story- do not eat the liver of an animal in a survival situation.

    7. Kathleen Walden says:

      Wow!! What an amazing book!! I had never heard of Dr Mawson 's expeditions to the South Pole. This story is mostly taken from his diaries and it is a page turner. It is very human, its gripping, its scary, and its tragic! During his lifetime he not only charts 1,500 miles of coastline and claims it for the British crown, but discovers the magnetic South Pole--but at what price?? True stories of real heroes--both people and dogs.

    8. Scott says:

      Dr Mawson overcame starvation, bitter cold and sickness to survive. He and his fellow explorers (Mertz and Ninnis) ate their husky's livers thinking this was nourishment; but in fact, contained high levels of vitamin A, poison to their starving bodies. I always enjoy true stories involving great people and examples of extraordinary human spirit.

    9. John says:

      An incredible story. Even knowing all involved were long dead and no longer suffering, I found it incredibly difficult to read this book. Shackleton's Endurance story pales in many ways compared to this. Not for the feint of heart but an amazing tale of survival against all odds if you can stomach all the stress that comes with reading about it.

    10. Ruth says:

      well worth reading--incredible what the human spirit can endure with the help of God

    11. Kathleen says:


    12. Tamhack says:

      I have read many books of the explorations of the Antarctica and Arctic but had not heard of this. I think it was downplayed because of the stories of Amundsen, Scott, and Shackleton. This story is equally as gripping and amazing. How do people survive such hardships? How after going through such hardships do they keep going back? What is the draw? For example Frank Wild went back 5 times despite extreme hardships.What did Mawson achieve? Because his exploration was not goal of arriving at the S [...]

    13. Diane says:

      An excellent survival story. It starts out slow because the author somehow feels compelled to tell us all about the weather and geography of Antarctica - I nearly didn't make it through the first couple chapters. But once Mawson's story begins it is very interesting. Mawson is interesting for a number of reasons. He is Australian and his party is mostly Aussies and New Zealanders. He is truly interested in the scientific/ exploration aspects of the journey - not in being first to reach the pole, [...]

    14. WH says:

      An engaging story set in the early 1900’s during the height of artic and polar exploration.Rated as one of the 10 best books of 20th century exploration by The Explorer’s Club, Lennard Bickel chronicles the incredible story of Australian Douglas Mawson’s 1911-1913 Antarctic Expedition. Less renown than several of his counterparts including Amundsen, Shackleton, and Scott, he did, however, lead one of the greatest scientific and discovery expeditions of his day.This relatively short read is [...]

    15. Antares says:

      Mawson's Will is an incredible tale of perseverance, will, and determination. Among the first explorers of Antarctica, Mawson and his two companions set out to explore the continent. Encountering raging blizzards, bizarre ice formations that made movement difficult, and bitter cold, they trudged across glaciers, falling into crevasses. After losing one member of the party along with the strongest team of dogs, the remaining two decided to turn back. One by one the dogs succumbed to hunger and ex [...]

    16. Tammy Elliott says:

      I probably would have never read this particular book without the recommendation of my brother, Rick Seley. He felt it was the most remarkable true account of the power of human will and survival he'd ever read.I found this book to be unique to others, genuine in its quest to document the heart and pure strength of the artic explorors of the time. It was so raw and honest at times, I apparently literally squirmed and grimmaced in my chair (according to family members) and it made my heart ache. [...]

    17. Anna says:

      A wonderful story that is a bit peculiarly told. Douglas Mawson was an Australian geologist who refused Scott's offer to go to the South Pole. Instead, he took his own expedition to map the coast of Antarctica. He sets off with two companions, dogs and sledges into the cold and decidely unfriendly terrain. One companion falls into a crevasse with his dogs and sledge. Then the other companion dies from what we now know is vitamin A poisoning. Mawson must make it back on his own while also sufferi [...]

    18. Carol Smith says:

      I will never complain about a trifling heel blister on a day hike again. Squirmed and groaned my way through the last half of this tragic story that never quite made the headlines in the heyday of Scott, Amundsen, and Shackleton. Not for the squeamish.Rates up there with Touching the Void as an all-time favorite survival tale. Taut writing with sharp imagery - I definitely will be reading more of Lennard Bickel.Enjoyed all the photos but can't believe the edition didn't include a map - a terribl [...]

    19. Carol Kean says:

      Gruesome, agonizing read, all the more so because it really happened. The man with the sled packed full of supplies plummeted into a deep crevasse. In despair, the remaining men ate their beloved and loyal sled dogs. Madness plagued the men. In the most charitable and humane gesture, Mawson passed up the choicest part of the sled dogs (liver) to keep his only companion alive. Many years later Mawson would learn why this was the worst thing he could have done for his friend. (No plot spoiler here [...]

    20. Jason says:

      I've read several stories of early explorers, including Shackleton's memoirs. This story stands on its own two feet up there with the best of them. I've come to believe that not just anyone could survive extreme conditions like this, even if you have the knowledge to do so. It takes a degree of perspicacity and faith in oneself to transcend physical hardships like those presented in this book. And, as you'll see from reading the author's prologue, there was a bit of luck involved as well.Bickel [...]

    21. Derek White says:

      Somehow this book didn't have the passion or the sense of adventure that other books in this genre have. Sure, it's an amazing story of survival and accomplishment, but it largely left me flat--probably because there are more interesting survival stories and there are books that are better written on these subjects. And somehow when the publisher (or author?) decides to call it the "The Greatest Survival Story Ever Written", the emphasis is on the writing rather than Mawson's accomplishment. And [...]

    22. Paul says:

      Yeah, an astonishing, fairly unbelievable survival story. Was it worth it? To stick a flag in the ice and claim it for the monarch, or the empire, or whatever? In my book, no. Not worth 18 dogs. Not worth the lives of two men. Certainly the times have changed; some of those Edwardian attitudes got routed out by WWI.That said, the survival story is riveting and sad, and our man Mawson was the most MacGyver person ever. Turn the sloughed off soles of your feet into boots? You bet! Plus a whole bun [...]

    23. crashqueen73 says:

      The only reason that I am rating this a four is because all the details about the distances and directions had me a bit baffled at times, even though they were pertinent to the story. Let's face it- it was a scientific expedition and all these factors were of utmost importance.The remainder of the story of Mawson's Will was riveting reading. I did not want to put it down, needing to find out what was going to happen to Mawson and his team of two men and a little over a dozen dogs.This book was a [...]

    24. Jane King says:

      Despite the many typos in the Kindle Version, this book gripped me throughout. Such courage, determination, compassion and devotion to comrades is so rare. The suffering of all involved including the beloved dogs is described in perfect detail along with the explanations of the vocabulary used to describe the beautiful but malevolent Antarctic terrain. Not a book for weak hearted when it comes to suffering but a must read for anyone interested in learning about these heroes and their adventures. [...]

    25. Yvette says:

      The first quarter of this book was a struggle to get through, but once the history lesson was over, the overly-dramatic prose kept me glued to it. There were many moments when I questioned how much of the writing was embellished, considering that the account was taken from Mawson's diary entries, however, I ended up being completely fine with that. This book is not for the squeamish.(Also--and I'm assuming this is caused the bad scanning software--the ebook version was extremely full of typos, i [...]

    26. John says:

      A brutal, well-told story. Bickel is meticulous and uses Mawson's diary and corroborating accounts wherever possible. Although just as harrowing, I wasn't as gripped by Mawson's account as some others (Shackleton, for example). I'm trying to put my finger on why that is. There are two reasons, I think: first, Mawson's purpose: mapping Antarctic territory doesn't have as clear a destination as some other accounts, and second, the mistake that Mawson and Mertz made of eating the dogs' livers is tr [...]

    27. Howard says:

      If you ever think that you're having a hard day or you just don't think you can finish the last five minutes of your Insanity workout read this book. I won't give away too much but at one point Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson's feet were so damaged by exposure and overuse that he was compelled to tie the soles of his feet back onto the rest of his feet. And he was still hundreds of miles away from the relative safety of his base camp.

    28. Steve says:

      Mawson was on the 1913 Australian Antarctic Expedition. This is not a biography of Mawson and there's little personal background. It is though an interesting attempt to look into Mawson's head, and at what goes on psychologically during a long expedition, and the effects of physical collapse on an exhausted person. Might have to look out for Mawson's own 'Home of the Blizzard' to get a better picture of the man himself.

    29. Kathleen says:

      The flap copy and photograph captions in this edition are pure spoilers! DO NOT read the flap or photo captions if you don't want the biggest cliffhangers of Mawson's incredible tale revealed to you. Besides having some of the suspense taken out of the story because I read the flap and captions (grrr), I was still riveted by this incredible tale of survival and perseverance in one of the most deadly and inhospitable places on earth. Lots of neat arctic vocab too, like "sastrugi."

    30. Pamela says:

      How often do you read stories about real live heroes? The men who opened up the exploration of the Antarctic definitely fall into that category. A geologist wishing to map the Southern mountains and catalog its minerals, Douglas Mawson set out to confront the terror of ice, snow and wind on this unknown continent and (just barely) lived to tell the tale. Do yourself a favor and read this true story of a fight for survival against all odds.

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