Bruxelles: Imprimerie Scientifque Charles Bulens, Ed. 1902. Near Fine. First Edition. In French, 8vo [10x6.75in]; [1-6], 7-94 pp., , frontispiece image of Gerlache, image of Belgica in ice on title page, 5 maps [1 full page color, 1 full page black and white, 3 in text], 14 full page photo illustrations, 36 photo illustrations in text, 1 ship plan and 2 sketches in text, red,yellow and blue silk ribbon bookmark; Three-quarter red cloth with yellow marbled paper covers, gilt lettering and crest on front left cloth panel and spine plain, marbled end papers, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed; Minor shelf wear to edges, typical cracks between some signatures at spine; Tipped in Brussels Book seller card. [Taurus 15, Rosove 147.C1b]. Item #11715
This abridged edition was issued by Bulens after sales were lagging from the true first deluxe edition issued earlier in 1902. The Hachette and G. Lebègue editions were printed later in the same year. This smaller edition was, from the Taurus, "... extracted from his official narrative and rushed into print to inform an eager national public of his adventures.". The translation of the title, from Rosove, is, "First Wintering in the Antarctic Ice: A Summary of the Voyage of the Belgica by Commandant Gerlache; Extracted from Fifteen Months in the Antarctic.".
The Belgica, departed from Antwerp in 1897 as the first scientific ship to the Antarctic. Adrien de Gerlache (1866-1934) was a Belgian Navy Lieutenant and organized the expedition. Some of the notable members of the expedition were Roald Amundsen as the First Mate and Frederick Cook the Doctor. They were to explore Graham Land on the Antarctic peninsula, survey the Weddell Sea, study the South Magnetic Pole and leave four selected members to winter over at Cape Adare. By late February, they spent too much time exploring and gaining sledging experience in the western peninsula and had to abandon the Weddell Sea exploration and wintering party at Cape Adare. With a desire to winter over, Gerlache conspired with the Captain to beset the ship in the Bellingshausen Sea. The entire crew was not prepared mentally or with adequate supplies to winter over and suffered considerably. The experience proved that it was possible and gave valuable information to future expeditions. The primary books and articles regarding the expedition have not been translated from French.