Aurora Australis - Mentions in Books and Magazines
INDEX (ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY) TO MENTIONS OF THE AURORA AUSTRALIS IN BOOKS, MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS, ETC.
The entries themselves are arranged alphabetically according to author's name.
Historic Books: Aurora Australis by Ernest Shackleton. (2009)
Light in the South. By Allen Mawer (The National Library Magazine, March 2009)
Excerpt from Print at the Poles. By John Bowles (Discover NLS, the magazine of the National Library of Scotland, Issue 7, Winter 2008)
From the Preface to Additions and Corrections Supplement to the Rosove Antarctic Bibliography. By Michael Rosove (Adélie Books, 2008)
Entry relating to the Aurora Australis from the Additions and Corrections Supplement to the Rosove Antarctic Bibliography. By Michael Rosove (Adélie Books, 2008)
Double Booked: The Perils of Polar Printing. By Nick Smith (Bookdealer, No. 178, November 2008, pp11-12)
Aurora Australis (1908). Edited By Ernest H. Shackleton: A New Description of the First State of the First Book Published on the Antarctic Continent. By Martin L. Greene. (2006)
Shackleton's Forgotten Expedition; The Voyage of the Nimrod. By Beau Riffenburgh (New York: Bloomsbury, 2004)
The Paper Chase. By Penny Carey Wells (Journal of the New Zealand Antarctic Society, Vol 21, Nos. 3 & 4, 2003)
Entry relating to the Aurora Australis from Antarctica, 1772-1922; Freestanding Publications through 1999. By Michael Rosove (Adélie Books, 2001)
Antarctica's First Published Book on Display;
Ernest Shackleton Printed Rare Volume in 1908. From the Huntington Library website
George Marston: Shackleton’s Antarctic Artist. By Stephen Locke (Hampshire County Council, 2000)
Frank Wild. By Leif Mills (Whitby: Caedmon, 1999)
John Millard's Introduction to the Bluntisham-Paradigm edition of the Aurora Australis. (Bluntisham Books and Paradigm Press, 1986)
Antarctic Miscellany. Compiled by Sydney A. Spence; edited by J.J.H. and J.I. Simper (London: 1980)
The First Book Printed in the Antarctic. By Mary P. Goodwin (Los Angeles: Terra (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County), 1979)
South to the Pole; The Early History of the Ross Sea Sector Antarctica. By L.B. Quartermain (London: Oxford University Press, 1967)
Shackleton. By Margery and James Fisher (London: Barrie, 1957)
Penguins Watched these Polar Printers. By John Feely (An article appearing in the Melbourne Sun, 2 July 1949)
Town and Country or Forty Years in Private Service with the Aristocracy. By Charles W. Cooper (London: Lovat Dickson, 1937)
The Life of Sir Ernest Shackleton. By Hugh Robert Mill (London: Heinemann, 1923)
Antarctic Days. By James Murray and George Marston (London: Andrew Melrose, 1913)
The British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-9. The Catalogue of the Exhibition, Autumn 1909.
The Heart of the Antarctic. By Ernest H. Shackleton (London: Heinemann, 1909)
'Preface' and 'Additional Preface' from Aurora Australis. By Ernest H. Shackleton (1908)
A portion of this article focuses on the Aurora, a copy of which the Library has.
The Catalogue of the Exhibition, Autumn 1909.
The Nimrod was set alongside The Embankment and was the show piece of an Exhibition in the Autumn of 1909. (The Exhibition was a financial success but Shackleton gave all the proceeds away to charity.) Although the ship was part of the Exhibition, there may have been a nearby hall to house the many exhibits. A descriptive catalogue was issued, printed by Sir Joseph Causton & Sons, Ltd., which was the company that provided the press and supplies for the Aurora. This is noted at the base of the concluding page (24). Also on that page is an advertisement for H. & T. Bayley, Ltd., the export packers of the Expedition, their packing cases being the source for the boards of the Aurora. Equipment and Stores Exhibit 19 (on pages 8-9) is "The 'Aurora Australis.'—This book, of which there are one hundred copies, was compiled by the members of the Expedition, and printed by E. Joyce and F. Wild, illustrated by G. Marston, and bound in covers made from packing cases by Bernard Day." The next, Exhibit 20, is "The Printing Machine.—This machine with all accessories was presented to the Expedition by Sir Joseph Causton & Sons, Ltd. It frequently happened that the ink plate had to be heated by candle flame to soften the ink."
The copy used here is in the Stefansson Collection at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. It was photographed by Robert Stephenson on December 4th, 2010.
The 9 October 1909 issue of the Illustrated London News included photographs of the printing press and expedition equipment. These images are included on page 141 of David Wilson's Nimrod Illustrated (Reardon Publishing, 2009).
Charles W. Cooper
This excerpt from Cooper's book includes a very interesting two pages on Frank Wild and a copy of the Aurora he gave the author.
This early newspaper article describes the copy of the Aurora now held by Museum Victoria.
Margery and James Fisher
This second major Shackleton biography has lengthy mentions of the Aurora.
Mary P. Goodwin
This article appeared in 1979 in Terra, a magazine published by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It was probably the first time the Aurora Australis was written about in any depth. Much has come to light since its appearance.
One can see this article by going to
The First book Printed in the Antarctic
Martin L. Greene
Aurora Australis (1908), Edited By Ernest H. Shackleton: A New Description of the First State of the First Book Published on the Antarctic Continent. By Martin L. Greene. Appearing in Book Talk: Essays on Books, Booksellers, Collecting, and Special Collections By Robert H. Jackson, Carol Zeman Rothkopf. Contributor Robert H. Jackson, Carol Zeman Rothkopf. Published by Oak Knoll Press, 2006. ISBN 1584561882, 9781584561880. 265 pages. This piece Pp 69-80.
This article by collector Martin L. Greene focuses on the two variants of the Aurora and advances the theory that the less common Variant B (text rather than the illustration 'Many Shekels Were Needed For The Ship To Go Forth') appeared first and only later was the illustration used to replace potentially offensive text.
One can see this article by going to
This article appeared in 2009 at http://inkweaver-review.blogspot.com/2009/05/historic-books-aurora-australis-by.html
Huntington Library website
This entry was once on the Huntington Library website; it is now included on the entry for the Huntington Library copy in the census of copies.
This pamphlet issued by the Hampshire County Council focuses on George Marston as an artist.
This article pertains to one of two copies of the Aurora held by the National Library of Australia.
Hugh Robert Mill
Shackleton's authorized first biography has a short mention of the Aurora.
There is much useful information in this Introduction to the 1986 edition of the Aurora.
This biography of Frank Wild mentions the Aurora.
James Murray and George Marston
Murray and Marston give a lot of firsthand information on the production of the Aurora.
This thorough history of the Ross Sea Sector has a short passage on the Aurora.
"The printers Joseph Causton & Sons were intrigued by Shackleton's idea, and they lent him a printing press, a small lithographic press for etching, ink, type and high-quality paper. They also gave instruction in typesetting and printing to Joyce and Wild and taught Marston the basics of print etching and lithography. Although Shackleton styled himself editor-in-chief of what was first called Antarctic Ice-Flowers, the project was primarily carried out by Joyce, Wild, Marston and Day. The final publication, named Aurora Australis, featured ten written contributions - including two by Shackleton - and was dedicated to Elizabeth Dawson-Lambton and her sister.
As Murray and Marston later described, the production of the books was a nightmare:
Dust from the stove fills the air and settles on the paper as it is being printed ... If anything falls on the floor it is done for; if somebody jogs the compositor's elbow as he is setting up matter, and upsets the type into the mire, I can only leave the reader to imagine the result.
The temperature varies; it is too cold to keep the printer's ink fluid; it gets sticky and freezes. To cope with this a candle was set burning underneath the plate on which the ink was. This was alright but it made the ink too fluid, and the temperature had to be regulated by moving the candle about. Once the printers were called away while the candle was burning ... When they returned they found that the plate had overheated and had melted the inking roller . . . it was the only one on the Continent and had to be recast ... So much for the ordinary printing. The lithography was still worse. [Antarctic Days, pp 104-05]
When the entire book had been printed, Day took over. He carefully sanded down Venesta boards for covers, joined them with a leather spine and then attached the pages to the hinges with silk cord. Between ninety and a hundred copies were produced."
This entry from the now-standard Antarctic bibliography has significant information on the Aurora. Both this and the next entry also appear under the Bibliography section.
This preface to the Supplement to the Rosove Antarctic Bibliography Bibliography section.
This addendum to the Rosove bibliography of Antarctic books has additional information on the Aurora. Both this and the previous entry also appear under the Bibliography section.
These excerpts from Shackleton's account of the Nimrod expedition relate to the Aurora.
These two prefaces were written by Shackleton and give a few details of the production of the Aurora.
Nick Smith's article from The Bookdealer offers some useful insights.
The entry from what for many years was the essential Antarctic bibliography.
Penny Carey Wells
This article pertains to the copy of the Aurora held by the State Library of Tasmania.