Not a topic destined to get many hits. I’ve been following the Mawson Antarctic ship stuck in the ice for the last week with its dramatic cast of Chinese and Russian icebreakers and echoes of past expeditions. Not a Brit icebreaker in site of course. Maybe they’ll have to overwinter in Antarctica like those who went before but now forgotten – FABIEN VON BELLINGHAUSEN in that long antartic night. As study of polar exploration has become more mainstream I’ve increasingly been drawn to failed expeditions or expeditions by countries that no longer exist. So I am currently reading about the AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN ARCTIC EXPEDITION 1874-78. Led by Julius Player they discovered FRANZ JOSEF LAND to the East of Novaya Zemlya and named everything they discovered after the Habsburg monarchs and aristocracy. Names which surprisingly survived the Bolshevik revolution where other icons of royalty did not. I’m surprised that Franz Josef land was not renamed SVERDLOV land after the Bolshevik leader who died in 1919 OF THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC.