Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Antarctica

Madhouse at the End of the Earth

Madhouse at the End of the Earth

Why a Booktrail?

1897: The harrowing, survival story of an early polar expedition that went terribly wrong

  • ISBN: 978-0753553442
  • Genre: Adventure, Inspired by true events

What you need to know before your trail

August 1897: The Belgica set sail, eager to become the first scientific expedition to reach the white wilderness of the South Pole. But the ship soon became stuck fast in the ice of the Bellinghausen sea, condemning the ship’s crew to overwintering in Antarctica and months of endless polar night. In the darkness, plagued by a mysterious illness, their minds ravaged by the sound of dozens of rats teeming in the hold, they descended into madness.

In this epic tale, Julian Sancton unfolds a story of adventure gone horribly awry. As the crew teetered on the brink, the Captain increasingly relied on two young officers whose friendship had blossomed in captivity – Dr. Frederick Cook, the wild American whose later infamy would overshadow his brilliance on the Belgica; and the ship’s first mate, soon-to-be legendary Roald Amundsen, who later raced Captain Scott to the South Pole. Together, Cook and Amundsen would plan a last-ditch, desperate escape from the ice-one that would either etch their names into history or doom them to a terrible fate in the frozen ocean.

Travel Guide

Travel to the Antarctica on board The Belgica

Drawing on first-hand crew diaries and journals, and exclusive access to the ship’s logbook, the result is a literary adventure which seems very real indeed.

The usual path for exploring ships was to go North but the Belgica wanted to be the first to reach the magnetic South Pole.

The ship was beset by problems  – bad weather, and ill timing – to name but two. The ship was captained by Adrien de Gerlache. Also on board was an American physician, Frederick Cook, who had been on a previous adventure to the North Pole and so had many survival skills which helped to save the crew. The other member of the crew was Roald Amundsen, a Scandinavian.

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Madhouse at the End of the Earth

Destination/location: Antarctica  Author/guide: Julian Sancton  Departure Time: 1897

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