Publication Date: 27/10/2022 ISBN: 9781844866212 Category:


Dr Jean de Pomereu, Dr Daniella McCahey

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 27/10/2022 ISBN: 9781844866212 Category:


Become the envy of all book lovers with your own Mr B’s sticker to show off where you do your shopping.



This stunning and powerfully relevant book tells the history of Antarctica through 100 varied and fascinating objects drawn from collections around the world.

Retracing the history of Antarctica through 100 varied and fascinating objects drawn from collections across the world, this beautiful and absorbing book is published to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the first crossing into the Antarctic Circle by James Cook aboard Resolution, on 17th January 1773. It presents a gloriously visual history of Antarctica, from Terra Incognita to the legendary expeditions of Shackleton and Scott, to the frontline of climate change.

One of the wildest and most beautiful places on the planet, Antarctica has no indigenous population or proprietor. Its awe-inspiring landscapes – unknown until just two centuries ago – have been the backdrop to feats of human endurance and tragedy, scientific discovery, and environmental research. Sourced from polar institutions and collections around the world, the objects that tell the story of this remarkable continent range from the iconic to the exotic, from the refreshingly mundane to the indispensable:

– snow goggles adopted from Inuit technology by Amundsen
– the lifeboat used by Shackleton and his crew
– a bust of Lenin installed by the 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition
– the Polar Star aircraft used in the first trans-Antarctic flight
– a sealing club made from the penis bone of an elephant seal
– the frozen beard as a symbol of Antarctic heroism and masculinity
– ice cores containing up to 800,000 years of climate history

This stunning book is both endlessly fascinating and a powerful demonstration of the extent to which Antarctic history is human history, and human future too.

Publisher Review

Like Antarctica itself, this 'History in 100 Objects' is unpredictable and compelling. Generous - yet partial, skidding over vast surfaces, digging into detail. Read it all at once: or select at leisure. * Meredith Hooper * From the Aurora Australis to the weather balloon, authors Daniella McCahey and Jean de Pomereu have assembled a beautifully curated collection of objects pertaining to Antarctica. As they note, so poignantly, Antarctica is not one thing. * Klaus Dodds * Reading this book is like being in a very large polar museum with two expert and amusing companions as your guides. Compiled by a historian and an artist, Antarctica: A History in 100 Objects takes its reader on a tour of human engagement with the far south that is by turns educative, playful, poignant, ridiculous and disturbing, but always knowledgeably explained and illustrated. While some objects might be readily anticipated (sledges, diaries, maps), others will likely be a surprise (a canary, a wedding dress, a nuclear reactor). Ranging in scale from ships to krill-oil capsules, encompassing both the other-worldly (a meteorite) and the mundane (soap, a T-shirt), the objects demonstrate the national and cultural diversity of human encounter with the ice continent. While the book skips with delightful eclecticism between different periods, put together the object descriptions comprise a well-rounded introduction to the issues and events that have shaped human encounter with the far south. Readers who know little about the place will find it an excellent way into the continent, and 'Antarctic tragics' will enjoy the unexpected and sometimes surreal details that accompany every object. * Elizabeth Leane *

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible