DAVIS, John King.

With the "Aurora" in the Antarctic 1911-1914.


With the “Aurora” in the Antarctic 1911-1914.

London, Melrose, n.d. circa 1919.

In stock


Inscribed on front free endpaper: ” Lieut Commander R. T. Gould R.N. /with compliments and best / wishes from John K. Davis. / Melbourne April 1931.”

As captain of the Aurora during Mawson’s 1911-14 expedition, Davis was able to produce one of the few first-hand accounts available in print. The book itself is a typical poorly produced war time volume rather like South.

“The 1911–1914 expedition encountered many challenges: dangerous weather, unchartered coastline, and problems with the ship including failing pumps in the engine room. In the Sydney Morning Herald of the 30th May 1929, Close writes of Davis’s crucial role in the expedition:

“…so much of its safety and success hinged upon his masterly seamanship, firm decision of mind, and courageous daring in handling the expedition ship Aurora.”

Davis, as Master of the Aurora, made several crucial voyages, establishing and relieving the wintering bases at Macquarie Island and on the Antarctic mainland, at Commonwealth Bay and the Shackleton Ice Shelf.

Davis had to make the difficult decision, whether to wait for blizzards and harsh seas to abate to collect Mawson’s party, or to relieve the second base party led by Frank Wild. He chose the latter”


First edition. inscribed by Davis, 8vo., xxi, 183pp., 8 maps (1 folding), plan, 83 illustrations on 42 plates, maps and illustrations in text, original blue cloth gilt, gilt rather rubbed as usual, a very good copy.


Taurus 101; Rosove 87.A1a.


Stock ID: 94260