FIRST EDITION OF FUCHS' AND HILLARY'S CROSSING OF ANTARCTICA, INSCRIBED BY AUTHOR AND ANTARCTIC EXPLORER VIVIAN FUCHS IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION TO A FAMOUS POLAR GLACIOLOGIST, CHARLES SWITHINBANK, AND SIGNED BY THE GLACIOLOGIST ON FUCHS' EXPEDITION, HAL LISTER
FUCHS, Sir Vivian and HILLARY, Sir Edmund. The Crossing of Antarctica: The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58. London: Cassell, (1958). Octavo, original blue cloth, cartographic endpapers, original dust jacket. $650.
First edition of this account of the first land crossing of Antarctica, profusely illustrated with color and and black-and-white photographs, inscribed on the half title in the year of publication by the author to a prominent glaciologist and polar specialist, Charles Swithinbank: "To Charles, V. Fuchs 1958," and additionally signed by his fellow explorer on the Trans-Antarctic Expedition, Hal Lister.
The 1955-58 British Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic expedition was lead by Sir Vivian Fuchs, who would become the first person to cross Antarctica by land. Sir Edmund Hillary led the New Zealand party responsible for laying depots for Fuchs' return from the Pole to the Ross Sea. Hillary set up Scott Base on Ross Island, explored the Ross Sea Basin and then via the Skelton Glacier established Depot 700. Depot 700 was meant as his furthest point south, but with a month to wait for Fuchs, Hillary continued on to the Pole, reaching it on Jan. 4, 1958, becoming the third person to do so by land. Fuchs, meanwhile, had left Shackleton Base on November 24, 1957, with the main party reaching the Pole on Jan. 20, 1958 where he was met by Hillary, and continued on to Depot 700 on Feb. 7, 1958 where Hillary, who had flown back from the Pole, guided his party to the Ross Sea. Fuchs, while at McMurdo Station, was knighted by telegram for becoming the first man to cross Antarctica by land. Conrad 2142. Fitzgerald 246. Spence 490. This copy is inscribed by Vivian Fuchs to Charles Swithinbank, "a glaciologist and polar specialist whose experience of the Arctic and Antarctic was unsurpassed in its variety. Having started his remarkable career as a member of an international expedition to the Antarctic, Swithinbank went on to serve successively on Canadian, American, Soviet, British and Chilean expeditions in the polar regions" (The Telegraph). Swithinbank is perhaps best known for his participation as a glaciologist on the Norwegian–British–Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1949-52. His expedition slightly predated the Trans-Antarctic Expedition, in which both Fuchs and Hal Lister (also a glaciologist) participated. Owner stamp of Charles Swithinbank.
Book with spotting to cloth boards and sunning to spine. Dust jacket with light rubbing and toning mainly to extremities and tape repair to verso. An extremely good double-signed copy with interesting provenance.