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Two pages of Xavier Mertz's missing Antarctic diary: a contextualisation and reconstruction


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Leane, E and Lucas, A (2013) Two pages of Xavier Mertz's missing Antarctic diary: a contextualisation and reconstruction. Polar Record: A Journal of Arctic and Antarctic Research, 49 (3). pp. 297-306. ISSN 0032-2474

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Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911–1914) has been portrayed in various narratives, usually with a focus on the Far-Eastern Sledging Journey from which Mawson made the epic trek back to the main base at Cape Denison alone, after the deaths of his companions, Xavier Mertz and Belgrave Ninnis. His is the sole eyewitness account of that sledging journey in 1912–1913, except for two handwritten pages of Mertz's diary, reproduced in Mawson's The home of the blizzard; two typed, imperfect copies of the diary, transcribed before it disappeared; and another transcript of the two pages published in the German edition of Mawson's book. This article traces the early journey of that missing diary and, drawing also on the available transcripts, re-interprets the content of those two pages. The content is compared with corresponding passages in associated documents and the subjectivity and limitations of these documents, when consulted for research purposes, are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Antarctica Diary Xavier Mertz Australian Antarctic Expedition Douglas Mawson Exploration
Journal or Publication Title: Polar Record: A Journal of Arctic and Antarctic Research
Page Range: pp. 297-306
ISSN: 0032-2474
Identification Number - DOI: 1017/S0032247412000460
Additional Information:

Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press

Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2013 22:11
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:55
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