The Voyage of Captain Bellingshausen to the Antarctic Seas 1819-1821


Only a fraction of Fabian Gottlieb Benjamin Bellingshausen’s (aka Thaddeus, 1778-1852) long career in the Russian Navy was devoted to Antarctic exploration, his two-year expedition exploring Antarctic in 1819-21. It was nonetheless a notable venture as the second circumnavigation of the continent (the first was by Captain Cook in 1773-74), and the first actual sighting of the Continent in January 1820. His discovery of Alexander Island and the naming of the Bellingshausen Sea were not much honored in Russia since they were of little immediate practical use, but his achievements are now much more fully recognized, At least as translated and then edited in this version, Bellingshausen appears to have an easy-going if formal style of writing and shows himself to be a most judicious man in both his navigation and his leadership of the voyage, a character much doubted by his critics.