The Adelie Blizzard: Mawson’s Forgotten Newspaper 1913.

An elegant facsimile of the newspaper of Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1913, taken from the only extant copy. The AAE had a well-stocked library, and though much of the content of the Blizzard was poetic doggerel, there was both serious and satiric discussion of books and also a series in each issue on Polar exploration, based on some of the library’s books.

p. 42: From a story called “Psychosis of a Birthday Cook,” apropos Don Quixote: I suppose all these stories are well-known – they say Cervantes is a classic— I suppose he is. I’ve always been going to read about Don Q., but never got beyond Pearson’s Magazine. Strikes me, the only way to read a book, is to “pile in and read it” straight away. It’s rotten when you meet someone who asks you whether you have read “Lorna Doone,” and it happens to be one of the books you are going to read, or have commenced, and never had time to finish. You long to display a bit of knowledge about it, and, in reply to a direct query you have to say. No. I haven’t! and forego all the delights of mutual enthusiasm about foolish old John Ridd and the angelic Lorna. … Anyway, I’ll have to “get a move on” with the washing-up, and Don Quixote is the sort of book that can wait.

p. 105: In an article on Nordenskiöld’s [sic] Antarctica expedition called “The Romance of Exploration,” a narrative by Dr J. Gunnar Andersson, includes this gem on reading in extremis: Literature would have whiled away many of their hours. “We have no books. When we wish to delight the eye with a few printed words, we take out our tins of “Le lait condense, prepare par M. Henri Nestle”, or of “Boiled Beef”, and read the labels.

In the five issues of the paper, a column of book reviews appeared three times, “By the Hurricane Lamp”, covering the following titles:

p. 54-57: Vol. I. No. 2 May 1913:
Lord Dufferin. Letters from High Latitudes
Dorothea Russell. The New Wood Nymph
R. L. Stevenson. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Allen Raine. A Welsh Singer

p. 171-77: Vol. I. No. 4 August 1913:
Charles Darwin. The Voyage of the Beagle
James Barr. Laughing through a Wilderness
Harold Bindloss. Rancher Carteret

p. 176: We beg to acknowledge receipt of an interesting assortment of the very latest Polar books from Meinehann Son and Coy:-
The Voyage of the Oui Oui Monsieur (Rabelais)
The North Pole Outpoled (Credo)
A Lost Race (Olaffssen)
The Home of the Blizzard (MacTaggart)
The Roll of the Arctic Seas (Bathymetrosky)
Motoring in Queen Mary Land (Williamson)

p. 207-211: Vol. I. No. 5 October 1913:
Ouida. Tricotrin
Jerome K. Jerome. Tommy and Co.
Mark Twain. The Mississippi Pilot