Edge of the World: Ross Island Antarctica: A Personal and Historical Narrative.

Neider tells much of the history of Antarctic exploration by focusing on the geographic area of Ross Island and the Ross Sea. The book has a good series of maps which helped me understand what I have often found a confusing place. The book itself is highly derivative, including long passages quoted from some very familiar works of the explorers, from Ross onwards, including Scott and Shackleton, but it also recounts the author’s own experiences and near disasters on his Deep Freeze expeditions to McMurdo and travels elsewhere in Antarctica.

p. 55—there is little about reading in this rather large book, but in a passage about hostility to women in the early 1970s he has this about the wardroom at the Cape Crozier base: The popcorn and mixed nuts were free: the drinks were very inexpensive. There was a huge photograph of a beautiful pinup girl on the wall, facing the customers. She was lying on her back, breasts standing, one leg raised, her lips smiling sensually, her eyes staring at one. In one hand she held a back scratcher.

p. 135—on a visit to Shackleton’s Nimrod Hut at Cape Royds he saw on the table old copies of the Illustrated London News, and a visitor’s register.

p. 148–reading matter on Nimrod expedition (1907-09): Shackleton had Shakespeare Comedies, Marshall had Borrow’s The Bible in Spain, Adams had Arthur Young’s Travels in France, and Wild had Sketches by Boz.