SOUTH POLE: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the “Fram,” 1910-1912
SOUTH POLE: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the “Fram,” 1910-1912

SOUTH POLE: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the “Fram,” 1910-1912

(London and New York: John Murray and Lee Keedick, 1913).

ONE OF THE SCARCEST AND MOST IMPORTANT POLAR TITLES, ESPECIALLY THE FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. Norwegian captain Roald Amundsen had initially intended make an expedition to the Arctic, but changed his plans at the last moment and announced he would try for the South Pole instead. His explanation to the public was that if he could beat the English and Japanese expeditions to the Pole then he could secure success and funds for his extensive Arctic expedition, and also “snatch the prize” for his own country. So , unbeknownst to Scott, Amundsen sailed southward in the “Fram” to the Bay of Whales that would afford his expedition both the shortest route to the Pole and a route that would not overlap with either the Japanese or the English expeditions.
From start to finish, Amundsen’s expedition ran like clockwork. He carefully planned every moment of the trip, using his experience in the Arctic and his extensive knowledge of dog-teams to help him through. His team was entirely Norwegian, accustomed to a harsh and cold climate, and were excellent ski-runners. In addition, Amundsen traveled light; he brought five men and fifty dogs on his expedition so that the latter could eventually serve as food for the former. Part of what doomed Scott’s party was the fact that he favored men and ponies over dogs, bringing twelve men, eight ponies, and only twenty-six dogs.
Amundsen’s party remained in excellent health and always had enough to eat from their plentiful provisions at their well-stocked supply depots. They also supplemented their food stores with a great seal hunt just before the winter, after which 120,000 lb. of fresh seal meat were added to their stores, which helped protect them against scurvy. Unlike Scott’s party, Amundsen’s party were also fortunate enough to have favorable weather conditions on their side, so that they were able to reach the Pole using their supply depots and dog sleds in just 99 days, a distance of 1860 miles, covering an astonishing average of 19 miles a day over frozen and difficult ground. Their journey was truly an extraordinary accomplishment, and Amundsen’s account of it is no less riveting. Item #26287

2 volumes. First edition, American issue, using the English sheets with title-pages noting Keedick created for the U.S. Issue. Numerous illustrations, folding maps, plans and charts, folding maps at rear of each volume. 138 photographic illustrations on 103 plates. Thick 8vo, publisher’s original navy blue cloth lettered in gilt on the spines and upper covers and decoratively ruled in blind, t.e.g. xxxv, 392; x, 449 pp. A very nice, bright and handsome set. The bindings are unusually well preserved, tight and strong, the text blocks very clean and as pristine and essentially mint.

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Price: $2,250.00