A Polar Affair

A Polar Affair

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A man named George Murray Levick was a physician on Robert Falcon Scott’s tragic Antarctic expedition of 1910. Marooned in the Antarctic, Levick passed the time by becoming the first man to study penguins up close. His findings were so shocking to Victorian morals that they were quickly suppressed and then seemingly lost to history.

A century later, Lloyd Spencer Davis rediscovers Levick and his findings during the course of his own scientific adventures in Antarctica. Levick’s long-suppressed manuscript reveals not only an incredible survival story, but one that will change our understanding of an entire species.

A Polar Affair reveals the last untold tale from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. It is perhaps the greatest of all of those stories—but why was it hidden to begin with? The ever-fascinating and charming penguin holds the key.

Moving deftly between both Levick’s and Davis’s explorations, observations, and comparisons in biology over the course of a century, A Polar Affair reveals cutting-edge findings about ornithology, in which the sex lives of penguins are the jumping-off point for major new insights into the underpinnings of evolutionary biology itself.

Published by Pegasus Books. More information can be obtained from the website: www.apolaraffair.com.
Reviews
I’m fairly well versed in the literature of the Arctic and Antarctic, but I’m not sure I’ve encountered any book about these regions that aims to do as much as Davis’s. Not only does he offer readers an insightful and bawdy primer on the breeding habits of Adélie, King and Emperor penguins, he offers an absorbing history of his own Antarctic fieldwork and a glimpse into the private lives of Levick and several important polar explorers of the era, including Amundsen, Ernest Shackleton, Douglas Mawson, Apsley Cherry-Garrard and Fridtjof Nansen…“A Polar Affair” offers a timely illumination of a mysterious and vital ecosystem.
New York Times

Somehow, Davis serves it all up with wit and a wry, irrepressible sense of humor, while imparting everything there is to know about penguins.
BookPage

In this intriguing scientific history-cum-memoir, penguin biologist Lloyd Spencer Davis harks back to a pioneering predecessor. George Murray Levick, a physician on Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated 1910 expedition to Antarctica, became the first to study penguins scientifically as he overwintered in an ice cave…A rip-roaring read on research at the edge.
Nature

In “A Polar Affair,” an interesting blend of polar history and natural history, a penguin biologist weaves his own story with that of George Murray Levick, Capt. Robert Falcon Scott’s top penguin man.
Wall Street Journal

An engaging detective story, Davis' search for the truth also enfolds the social history of the Victorian era, changing theories in the fields of evolution and animal behavior, the human side of scientific research, and tales of Antarctica.
BookList

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