Amundsen. Scott. Shackleton. Levick. … Wait, who? The world knows of the exploits of Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott, and Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton – men of renown from the turn of the 20th century famous for their exploits in the Antarctic and beyond. In this book, Davis – a lifelong penguin biologist and filmmaker – traces the path of a man who both inspired his own work and is forever tied into the lives of the more famous men who were his contemporaries. That man being George Murray Levick, the member of Scott’s crew who inadvertently became the very first penguin biologist – and who made discoveries about Adelie penguins that would go hidden for nearly a century before Davis himself next observed them. In this book, Davis explores both his own path and research and that of Levick, as he finds himself on a quest to find the “real” George Murray Levick and the reason Levick hid his more salacious findings about Adelie penguins. Truly remarkable work, told in an incredibly approachable and easily readable manner. Very much recommended for all, particularly those who – like this particular reader – find themselves also very attached to penguins.
This review of A Polar Affair by Lloyd Spencer Davis was originally written on June 15, 2019. In accordance with the publisher’s stated wishes on NetGalley, its publication has been delayed until August 20, 2019.