About Terra Nova Press

Although Terra Nova Press has been publishing since 2009, this website is new.

David Hirzel started writing Sailor on Ice, a three-part “polar biography” of the Irish explorer Tom Crean, in 1994.  The plan at the time was to have the book in print by 2001, the centenary of the first voyage of Scott’s Discovery expedition to the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.  Crean was an able-bodied seaman on that expedition, and distinguished himself as a hardy, dependable explorer.

When Scott returned again in the Terra Nova to complete his goal of reaching the South Pole, he chose Crean as one of his trusted men.  When Shackleton went south in the Endurance in 1914, he wanted Crean.

The first part of the trilogy to be released was the middle part of Crean’s story, Sailor on Ice: Tom Crean with Scott in the Antarctic 1910-1913, finally went to press in 2011.  This first release was followed in 2013 by Hold Fast:  Tom Crean with Shacketon’s Endurance Expedition 1913-1916, and two years later by Antarctic Voyager:  Tom Crean with Scott’s Discovery Expedtion, 1901-1904.

The header image on this About page was taken in County Kerry, Ireland, where Crean was born and raised, and to which he returned on his retirement from Britain’s Royal Navy, where he opened his South Pole Inn in his hometown of Annascaul.

This work set the course for Terra Nova Press.  Polar exploration is our primary focus, but over time our offerings came to include first-hand accounts of two Arctic expeditions, the Resilience series from co-authors Brad Borkan and David Hirzel, and workbooks by Alice Cochran based on her groundbreaking Roberta’s Rules of Order.