Madness and misery in Antarctica

Julian Sancton charts the extraordinary journey of 1897’s Belgian Antarctic Expedition, which descended into madness, misery, and the threat of murder

Julian Sancton discusses the 1897 Belgian Antarctic Expedition on the HistoryExtra podcast

In 1897 the Belgian Antarctic Expedition set sail in search of the south magnetic pole, but their journey was scuppered by a long, arduous winter trapped in the pack ice. Malnourishment, madness, and the threat of murder loomed. Julian Sancton, author of Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night, charts their extraordinary journey.

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Julian Sancton is the author of Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night (Ebury, 2021)