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Oppegård kirke, Oppegård, Norway: fixing the location where Roald Amundsen revealed his ‘minor diversion’

  • P.J. Capelotti (a1) and Susan Barr (a2)

After learning in the first week of September 1909 that the North Pole had been claimed, the career and prospects of the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen hung in the balance. Scheduled to lead an exploration of the north polar basin, Amundsen suddenly found himself without adequate funding or a clear objective. His self-described ‘coup’ to turn southwards and reach for the South Pole was perhaps the most dramatic and best-kept secret in the history of polar exploration. Amundsen shared his decision only with a very select few, including his brother and manager, Leon Amundsen, a scene dramatised in the 1985 television mini-series The last place on earth. The location used in the film is identified at the unusual grave markers of the Ingier family outside Oppegård kirke in Oppegård, Norway, about five km from the site of Amundsen's home on Bunnefjorden, a branch of Oslofjord.

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Amundsen R. 1912 (2001). The South Pole: an account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the ‘Fram’, 1910–1912. Lanham, MD: Cooper Square.
Bomann-Larsen T. 1995. Roald Amundsen. En biografi. Oslo: J.W. Cappelens forlag.
Fram Museum. 2009. Introduction to Roald Amundsens dagbøker: Belgicaekspedisjonen 1897–99. Oslo: Fram Museum (Introduction originally from Reader's Digest Antarctica 1998: 133).
Griffiths T. 1986. Judgement over the dead. London: Verso.
Huntford R. 1979. Scott and Amundsen. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
Zapffe F.G. 1935. Roald Amundsen. Mit samarbejde med ham gennem 25 dr. Oslo. Aschehoug.
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Polar Record
  • ISSN: 0032-2474
  • EISSN: 1475-3057
  • URL: /core/journals/polar-record
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