From Edinburgh to the Antarctic
Scottish artist W. G. Burn Murdoch (1862-1939) joined a whaling expedition to Antarctica that left Dundee in 1892. He was on board the barque Balaena, the largest of the ships in the group, and under the command of Captain Fairweather. They were searching for the valuable Bowhead whale, which had been sighted on Ross' 1839-43 Antarctic expedition. Although unsuccessful at achieving this aim, the ships returned in 1893 loaded with seal pelts. First published in 1894, this is Murdoch's account of the expedition, illustrated throughout with his sketches. He documents each stage of the voyage, and describes living conditions on the Balaena. His illustrations include scenes such as the Ship's departure and ice landscapes, as well as focusing on the daily work of the crew. The Ship's naturalist, William S. Bruce (1867-1921), wrote the final chapter, focusing on the scientific observations he made during the voyage.