Amundsen and the Arctic: Airplanes, Airships, Adultery and Abandonment

Roald Amundsen, a fiercely patriotic Norwegian, was, arguably, the most famous polar explorer of the early 20th century. He was an ambitious, professional explorer who spent his life planning, and then carrying out major expeditions. He holds the record for being First to navigate the North-West Passage, First to reach the South Pole, and, more than likely, the First to reach the North Pole (the last in an airship). He died in an airplane crash somewhere in the Barents Sea while attempting to rescue a colleague lost and marooned out on the Arctic pack ice.

However, as with many celebrities, Amundsen had significant flaws to his character; it is no surprise that he was not perfect. It is both the good and bad in his character that I plan to explore through a series of illustrated lectures. Much of his private life, up until now, has been cloaked deliberately by a veil – a veil which has been lifted recently by the published work of Tor Bomann-Larsen who adds many intriguing new dimensions to the life of this famous explorer.