Dispatches from Continent Seven

Book Author Rebecca Priestley
Rights Available World excl. NZ, AU, USA, Canada, Portuguese-language

This beautifully designed and curated book offers a thrilling journey through time as explorers and scientists painstakingly unravel the profound mysteries of Earth”s last great wilderness.

Since British explorer James Cook first circumnavigated Antarctica in the late 18th century, the white continent has exerted a powerful attraction. There is no permanent human habitation and no mercy from the elements, yet for nearly 200 years explorers and scientists from around the world have been drawn to work and sometimes risk their lives here.

Dispatches from Continent Seven brilliantly reveals the numerous scientific discoveries that have been made, from how sea creatures survive in the freezing waters, to the continent”s extraordinary proliferation of meteorites, and the startling revelations of fossils, which show Antarctica was once covered in luxuriant forests teeming with creatures.

This is science writing at its best – vivid, immediate, enthralling and accessible: Apsley Cherry-Garrard on his harrowing journey to collect emperor penguin eggs; Robin Bell on discovering mountains buried beneath the Antarctic ice sheet; Michael Becker on diving into a glacial lake; William Cassidy on hunting for meterorites; James McClintock on studying endangered sea butterflies; Rhian Salmon on wintering over and awaiting polar sunrise; Katie Mulrey on launching a nine-metre-tall instrument to observe cosmic rays; Nancy Bertler on what ice cores are telling scientists about Earth”s past – and what this means for all our futures.

About the Author
Rebecca Priestley
is an award-winning science writer and historian, with degrees in earth sciences and a doctorate in the history and philosophy of science. She is senior lecturer in the Science and Society group at Victoria University of Wellington. She first travelled to the ice on Antarctica New Zealand’s media programme in 2011, and in 2014 filmed lectures there for Antarctica Online, an innovative course available to students around the world. Her books include The Awa Book of New Zealand Science, winner of the inaugural Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize.


Awa Press


Paperback with flaps

Non Fiction

Natural World

Age range
All ages

Publication Date

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ, AU, USA, Canada, Portuguese-language

Rights Agents:


Mary Varnham, Awa Press

Contact Awa Press about this book

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A skilful and thoughtful compilation ... Antarctica speaks to us with a message of both endurance and vulnerability.

David Carlson, Director, World Climate Research Programme

After reading Priestley’s remarkable anthology, people will feel very differently about the great white southern continent.

Julia Millen, New Zealand Books

Those of us who have had the chance to live and work in Antarctica realise we are greatly privileged. This fascinating anthology allows a much wider group to share that experience.

Allison McCulloch, Scoop Review of Books

A really good read for anyone fascinated by that magical, enigmatic continent that is Antarctica.

Vanda Symon, Radio New Zealand

The writers give beautiful descriptions of the unusual and wonderful things they are seeing, while conveying the discomfort and visceral struggle for survival.

Rebecca Gray, Booksellers NZ