*Until the fifteenth century the land in the southern hemisphere was unvisited by the Europeans, who vaguely spoke of it as Terra Australis Incognita and who make up fantastic theories about its geography. The first crossing of the Antarctic Circle did not occur until james Cook's expedition in 1773. The development of the sealing industry aroused further interest in the territory and led to the discovery of land. The mainland was braved in difficult expeditions by Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton, and the South pole was reached for the first time by Roald Amundsen. Information gathered by Shackleton, Byrd, and Ellsworth has led to increasing interest in the continent and its continued investigation. This is an absorbing account of the penetration of the Antarctic; a well-written and detailed description of the explorers, their expeditions, and their discoveries.