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Two pages of Xavier Mertz's missing Antarctic diary: a contextualization and reconstruction


Lucas, A and Leane, Elizabeth, Two pages of Xavier Mertz's missing Antarctic diary: a contextualization and reconstruction, Polar Record, 49, (250) pp. 297-306. ISSN 0032-2474 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0032247412000460


ABSTRACT. Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911–1914) has been portrayed in various narratives, usually with a focus on the Far-Eastern Sledging Journey from which Mawson made the epic trek back to the main base at Cape Denison alone, after the deaths of his companions, Xavier Mertz and Belgrave Ninnis. His is the sole eyewitness account of that sledging journey in 1912–1913, except for two handwritten pages of Mertz’s diary, reproduced in Mawson’s The home of the blizzard; two typed, imperfect copies of the diary, transcribed before it disappeared; and another transcript of the two pages published in the German edition of Mawson’s book. This article traces the early journey of that missing diary and, drawing also on the available transcripts, re-interprets the content of those two pages. The content is compared with corresponding passages in associated documents and the subjectivity and limitations of these documents, when consulted for research purposes,are discussed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Biography
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding past societies not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Lucas, A (Dr Anna Lucas)
UTAS Author:Leane, Elizabeth (Professor Elizabeth Leane)
ID Code:88311
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2014-01-28
Last Modified:2015-10-01

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