• RRP: £9.99
  • You Save: £0.51 (5%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Empire Antarctica: Ice, S... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See more of our deals.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins Paperback – 7 Nov 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£9.48
£3.83 £0.01
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£9.48 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins
  • +
  • Adventures in Human Being (Wellcome)
  • +
  • Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End (Wellcome)
Total price: £30.71
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009956596X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099565963
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A finely written account of an extreme experience of the Antarctic, worthy to stand beside some of the great travel narratives in the English language." (RSL Ondaatje Prize Judges)

"Empire Antarctica is the embodiment of everything I admire in travel writing -- a great journey, intense isolation, wide reading, vivid writing, scientific research, and something in the nature of an old-fashioned ordeal. That Gavin Francis is a medical doctor, with an important role to play in the darkness and cold at the ends of the earth, is a bonus. I loved this book." (Paul Theroux)

"One of the best travel titles I have read in a long time. Thoughtful, lyrical, extremely well written, it’s a triumph." (Giles Foden Conde Nast Traveller)

"A beautiful, profound and highly readable account of a remarkable personal adventure. Francis’s pacing is deft, his prose vivid, his research worn lightly. This is probably as close as most of us will ever get to experiencing a modern polar winter. Empire Antarctica is surely destined to become a standard, not so much of travel as of staying very still." (Ed O'Loughlin Daily Telegraph)

"Francis’ best writing (and it is excellent)... is Robert Macfarlane on ice. This writing achieves the ‘quilted quality’ of silence, and through it we are brought to a new landscape of words." (Katherine MacInnes Literary Review)

Book Description

* WINNER OF THE SCOTTISH BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2013 *

Empire Antarctica is the story of one man and his fascination with the world's loneliest continent, as well as the emperor penguins who weather the winter with him. This is travel writing at its very best.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm not really one for travel books but this captured my attention from the very beginning. Its a fascinating read charting Gavin's first longing to visit Antarctica, his journey there, the passing of the seasons in the year plus he spent there and then returning back to 'normal' life. Its full of remarkable insights of what life is like when 14 people are holed up in an inaccessible base in perpetual night for months at a time, and I really enjoyed learning lots about previous polar explorations, of which I was totally ignorant beforehand. It's beautifully written, informative and compelling, and I kept wanting to stop and read bits of prose out to my partner as I knew he'd love it too.

I've found myself mentioning bits and pieces of info I've picked up from the book in conversations with people for weeks now - I'm glad so much of it has stayed with me. The only bad thing about it, which isn't really the author's fault, is that I was so engrossed in the book I nearly missed getting off the train at my stop - jumped out in a rush with book and bicycle, but left my two paniers with work computer and much else besides, on the train and had to make a special trip to Inverness to pick them up from the station lost property... The first time ever I've done that, but Empire Antarctica made several 3 hour train journeys whizz by and that is praise indeed in my book!

A fantastic read I reckon, for anyone who is even remotely interested in Antarctica and adventurous explorations, or for those who doesn't even know they are yet.
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This story of working for a year as a doctor for the British Antarctic Survey at its station at Halley, the closest BAS outpost to the South Pole, is full of terrific insights on life on the edge of the world.

Francis had already travelled to the Arctic and written about it in True North, but this was the first book of his I had tried. He sets out his mission to secure the much sought-after job, and explains his fascination both with the imagined "solidity, silence and enormity" of Antarctic (so different from his busy life in Edinburgh) and with emperor penguins, which he had learned showed no fear of humans (so you could walk up close to observe their ways). And soon he is off, departing from unglamorous Immingham on the Humber on the RSS Ernest Shackleton, an ice-breaker, heading south. References to the likes of Shackleton and Scott are woven in throughout... the book is as much a history of Antarctic adventure as a travelogue.

The freshness of the writing comes from the sense of cutting loose from the iPad world, and of going back to basics and trying to understand an alien place (rather like Thesiger in the Arabian deserts). Francis points out early on that cartographers refer to blank spaces on maps as "sleeping beauties" - which struck me as being a lovely phrase. The book is good on such details.

He describes Halley and its inhabitants (whose mental health suffers due to the isolation of the station) and is called upon to provide fillings for rotten teeth - he admits worrying what would happen if he were to fall seriously ill, as no-one else could treat him. And he is soon delighting in the "immensity of nothing" of his surroundings, seeing many a penguin and flying in a Twin Otter as far as 81 degrees south on one scientific expedition.
Read more ›
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Empire Antarctica by Gavin Francis is a beautiful book. With a canvas of the antarctic, the paint of the Emperors, and Gavin's confident brush strokes I was captivated by this book cum work of art. Gavin writes with confidence and a stunning command of English - prepare to reach for your dictionary - with which Gavin graciously and elegantly immersed me in a land of which I could only dream. Or wonder. But I began to feel I was living there with him.

I imagine Gavin must be pretty psychologically tough, but I always felt in the company of a man I woud love to sit and have a beer with. Take a journey to Antarctica, meet a bunch of extraordinary creatures - the birds, not his colleagues - and be swept away by the language. And, as I prepared to approach my first Christmas on my own, I got a deep and comforting insight in how there is a difference between being lonely and alone. Chapeaux!

Guy
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'empire Antarctica is a fantastic read. More than just an average travel book , the writing is Detailed and very insightful Gavin Francis relates his experience working as a Doctor at the Halley research station during a Polar year. Dr Francis is able to observe at first hand the tough life of the fascinating Emperor Penguin. We the reader feel a part of his whole adventure right from the beginning including the long sea journey to reach the Antarctic continent , along the way we learn about earlier polar explorers such as Scott, Shackleton and Byrd. At first hand we experience Gavin's courage and tenacity and marvel at the strength of all those that work in such harsh, unpredictable and unforgiving conditions
The mysterious allure of Antarctica is perfectly captured and is made accessible for all. Anyone interested in all aspects of Antarctica will really enjoy this book.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback