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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781407051826
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

Terra Incognita

Travels in Antarctica

A modern classic of Antarctic exploration, beautifully rejacketed to join The Magnetic North

After writing two highly praised travel books, Sara Wheeler was invited by the American government to be the 1994 'Writer in Residence at the US South Pole Station'. She spent six weeks at the pole and on the edge of the infamous Ross Ice Shelf which finally defeated Fiennes and Stroud in their recent unsupported Antarctic crossing. She then joined the British Antarctic Survey for a month on the other side where oil and minerals are rich but too expensive to extract. She looked at how people live on the bases and how the landscape affects them. For her, Antarctica functions as Patagonia did for Bruce Chatwin, the myths and history carrying as much import as the ration of two two-minute showers a week or how the inhabitants let off steam and avoid hating each other in confined quarters.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781407051826
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

About the Author

Sara Wheeler

Sara Wheeler’s books include the international bestseller Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica, of which the Telegraph reviewer wrote, ‘I do not think there will ever be a better book on the Antarctic.’ The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle, was chosen as Book of the Year by Will Self, Michael Palin, A. N. Wilson and others. She has published two biographies of travellers: Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard, and Too Close to the Sun: The Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton, and was immensely relieved to write about women at last in O My America!. She lives in London.

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Praise for Terra Incognita

“Antarctica could hope for no better chronicler: spirited, humorous and highly intelligent, she is also a writer of rare talent”


“Penetrating, vivacious and often amusing, Wheeler's record has a sharp authenticity”

The Times

“She writes with a consistent wry wit... she never lacks empathy, compassion or generosity for people whose values, background and gender were the polar opposite of hers...What she has done could not be done better”


“Her book is an impressive achievement, one genuinely brushed by the ghosts of the past”

Beryl Bainbridge, Literary Review

“Terra Incognita deserves to be a bestseller...a wonderful book and terrific corrective to the polar bulldust periodically emitted by Sir Ralph Wotsisname and others of his ilk”

Daily Telegraph

“Every phrase, every observation twitches with life; every colour seems her own. Forget Antarctica, the mind is a big place, too. I found myself falling for this writer's strong, incisive wisdom even more than the ice sheet and penguins”

Julie Myerson, Mail on Sunday

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