Title: THE HEART OF THE ANTARCTIC
Publisher: William Heinemann, London
Publication Date: 1909
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket
Complete in two volumes. First Edition. Thick 4to. Volume I, 373 pp, complete, with sepia coloured frontispiece and 6 colour plates with captioned tissue-guards, 125 black & white photographic plates and 11 diagrams. Volume II, 419 pp, complete with sepia coloured frontispiece and 6 colour plates with captioned tissue-guards, 132 black & white photographic plates, 38 other illustrations, with folding panorama and three folding maps loosely inserted. Top edges gilt, other edges untrimmed.
20.5 x 25.5 cm. Professionally and sympathetically rebound in blue buckram, using original silver blocked cloth depicting three explorers in protective clothing alongside the Union Jack on a pole on upper covers. Gilt lettered spines.
All time classic story of heroic effort during golden age of primary Antarctic exploration. Their achievements included: first ascent of Mt. Erebus, first to reach the South Magnetic Pole, farthest south sledging journey, and produced the first book printed on the continent (Aurora Australis). Shackleton had three goals for the mission and divided the company into three groups: one would set out to reach the Pole, another to plant a flag at the South Magnetic Pole, and the third to explore the Ross Barrier. This ambitious program was kept faithfully in the foreground, and although it was not possible to fulfill every detail of it, the mission is regarded as a a triumphant success. "Men go out into the void spaces of the world for various reasons. Some are incited simply by a love of adventure, some have a keen thirst for scientific knowledge, and others are drawn away from trodden paths by the "lure of little voices," the mysterious fascination of the unknown. I think that in my own case it was a combination of these factors that determined me to try my fortune once again in the frozen south. "The DISCOVERY expedition [1901-1903] had brought back a great store of information, and had performed splendid service in several important branches of science. I believed that a second expedition could carry the work still further.The southern limits of the Great Ice Barrier plain had not been defined. It was important to the scientific world that information should be gained regarding the movement of the ice-sheet that forms the Barrier. Then I wanted to discover what lay beyond the mountains to the south of latitude 82 17 and whether the Antarctic continent rose to a plateau similar to the one found by Captain Scott beyond the western mountains." Shackleton goes on to discuss the possibilities for discoveries in the fields of meteorology, zoology, mineralogy and general geology, atmospheric electricity, tidal movements, hydrography, etc. The work as a whole touches upon all these fields and more, providing an extensive account of Shackleton s Antarctic adventure from the preparation and supplies to accounts of daily travel and discovery. An very good copy of this increasingly scarce set.