Format Hardcover
Publication Date 09/24/19
ISBN 9781643131252
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.4 in / 368

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A Polar Affair

Antarctica's Forgotten Hero and the Secret Love Lives of Penguins

Lloyd Spencer Davis

A captivating blend of true adventure and natural history by one of today’s leading penguin experts and Antarctic explorers.

George Murray Levick was the physician on Robert Falcon Scott’s tragic Antarctic expedition of 1910. Marooned for an Antarctic winter, 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 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.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“Striking and audacious.” The Globe and Mail (Praise for Lloyd Spencer Davis)
“The spirit and soul of the penguin is entwined with the factual information in this first-person account so that it is rather like reading a novel or an autobiography.” American Bookseller, "Pick of the Lists" (Praise for Lloyd Spencer Davis)
“Davis combines history and science seamlessly in this enthralling look at pioneering scientist George Murray Levick and his discoveries about the diversity of animal sexuality. Davis injects his own research findings into the narrative, producing a biography/popular science book that will appeal equally to polar expedition buffs and zoology enthusiasts.” Kirkus Reviews
“A tremendous resource.” Vaughan Turekian, American Association for the Advancement of Science
“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