BEAUTIFUL FIRST EDITION OF SOUTH: SHACKLETON’S OWN ACCOUNT OF THE FATE OF THE ENDURANCE
SHACKLETON, Ernest. South. The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917. London: William Heinemann, 1919. Octavo, original blue cloth, uncut and partially unopened. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
First edition of Shackleton’s own account of his ill-fated expedition, with folding map at rear, in-text maps and illustrations, color frontispiece, and 87 black-and-white plates, most after photographs by Frank Hurley, and including his image of the Endurance “looming stark and white against the darkness of the Polar night.”
Ernest Shackleton embarked in 1914 in the Endurance to make the first crossing of the Antarctic continent—1800 miles from sea to sea. But 1915 turned into an unusually icy year in Antarctica; after drifting trapped in the ice for nine months, the Endurance was crushed in the ice on October 27. "Shackleton now showed his supreme qualities of leadership…with five companions he made a voyage of 800 miles in a 22-foot boat through some of the stormiest seas in the world, crossed the unknown lofty interior of South Georgia, and reached a Norwegian whaling station on the north coast. After three attempts… Shackleton succeeded (30 August 1916) in rescuing the rest of the Endurance party and bringing them to South America" (DNB). Amazingly, all members of the Endurance party survived the ordeal. Featuring Frank Hurley's photographs of the expedition's doomed Endurance, including his classic flashlight photograph of the ship taken at 70 degrees below freezing, showing her "inky silhouette… looming stark and white against the darkness of the Polar night… in brilliant relief against the velvet blackness of the sky… transforming her into a vessel from a fairy-land" (Hurley, Argonauts of the South, 159). First printing, with errata slip tipped-in. Without extremely scarce dust jacket. Rosove 308.A1. Taurus 105. Spence 1107. Conrad, 210-14, 224.
Text, plates and folding map generally fresh with front inner paper hinge expertly reinforced. A fine copy.