SUPERB LIMITED DELUXE FIRST EDITION OF SHACKLETON'S HEART OF THE ANTARCTIC AND THE ANTARCTIC BOOK: SIGNED BY HIM AND ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE EXPEDITION
SHACKLETON, Ernest. The Heart of the Antarctic. Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909. Two volumes. WITH: The Antarctic Book. Winter quarters 1907-1909. London: William Heinemann, 1909. Together, three volumes. Quarto, original full (Heart of the Antarctic) and half (Antarctic Book) vellum, top edges gilt, uncut. $56,000.
Rare first edition, Special Limited Large Paper Issue of Shackleton's fascinating account of the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909, number 29 of only 300 copies printed. First and only edition of The Antarctic Book, with the signatures of every member of the shore party, including Shackleton. With 16 mounted color plates, photographic frontispieces, and over 200 additional illustrations, including drawings and photographic plates. Three folding maps and a folding panorama enclosed in the rear pocket of Volume II.
Shackleton had first gained fame as a member of Scott's expedition of 1901-02. In 1908, accompanied by three companions and four ponies, he led his own expedition and approached within 100 miles of the South Pole before being forced to return due to lack of supplies, outdistancing his predecessors to a degree unequalled in the history of polar exploration, and proving conclusively the feasibility of reaching the Pole. While Shackleton's heroic journey southward was the greatest achievement of this expedition, it was also noteworthy for the first attainment of the Magnetic South Pole and the first ascent of Mt. Erebus, both achieved in separate journeys led by T.W. Edgeworth, as well as for substantially increasing knowledge of the region's geology.
The Antarctic Book, which includes the 16 signatures of the shore party, was issued only with this Limited Edition of The Heart of the Antarctic and has never been reprinted. It contains reproductions of drawings done by the party, including four mounted color portraits, the poem "Erebus" by Shackleton and the whimsical story "Bathybia" by Douglas Mawson, also a member of the party. Second state of The Antarctic Book, with only three items listed on the contents page (the first state listed an additional poem by Shackleton; this was later corrected and appended to the preceding poem, of which it formed a portion). All volumes printed on specially made Van Gelder paper, watermarked "1907 BAE 1909." Conrad, 148. Rosove 305.A2. Spence 1096. Taurus 57. Bookplates.
Occasional very light scattered foxing. A fine set of this rare and sumptuous edition.