London: Samson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1878. Near Fine. First and Fourth Editions. 8vo [8.5x6in]; Vol. I [First Edition] - xl, 395 pp., frontispiece tipped in sepia-toned image of ship in ice field, two plates of tipped in sepia-toned images, one plate with woodcut illustration from photograph, 25 woodcut illustrations in text, folding map of Smith Sound, Kennedy and Robeson Channels [Neat line 23.5x21.5in, Sheet 25.25x22.25in, 30 to 80 W by 78 to 83 45'N]; Vol. II [Fourth Edition] viii, map, 378 pp., frontispiece tipped in sepia-toned image of ship in ice field, two plates of sepia-toned images, six plates of woodcut illustrations with one in color, 13 woodcut illustrations in text, folding map of Northern sledging party to 83 20' N [Neat line 7.25x14.875in, Sheet 8.25x16.5in], additional charts and graphs in appendices, index; Rebacked three quarter bound light brown leather with original contemporary marble paper covers and original spine, all edges trimmed and red ink stained, original marble end papers; For both volumes, some minor shelf wear to original marble covers and spine, hinges tape reinforced, some minor bleeding of red ink stain on several plates, bookplate of Steve Fossett on front end paper. [Arctic Biblio 12026A, Howgego III N6, Sanderson 952]. Item #13621
Sir George Strong Nares (1831-1915) was an officer in the Royal Navy with 41 years of active service and rising to the rank of Rear-Admiral. He served in early Arctic explorations in search of Sir John Franklin in 1850's. Nares was appointed, in 1872, as the captain of the H.M.S. Challenger three year scientific expedition to explore the oceans. He was praised for his leadership and success of the first half of the expedition. In 1874, he was recalled by the Admiralty to led the British Arctic Expedition of 1875-6 to discover the open polar sea and reach the North Pole. The reports from the American expeditions of Israel Hayes (1860-61) and Charles F. Hall (1870-73) indicated an open polar sea and land extended far to the North and west of Robeson Channel. Leaving in May, 1875, the Alert (Captain Albert Markham) and Discovery hoped to find the route in the Smith Sound to the open polar sea and settled into winter quarters on Grinnell Land (Ellesmere Is.). The following spring, sledging journeys were sent out to explore. The ships were able to chart over 400 miles of new coastline and the sledging parties failed to confirm an open polar sea, but achieved the farthest north of 83 20'N in a rough and jumbled ice pack. Nares decided to turn back due to an outbreak of scurvy and was criticized by the Admiralty for the outbreak. The short expedition produced considerable scientific and geographical information was brought back for research. Nares continued to serve the Navy and rise in rank to retire in 1886. The book also contains tipped in sepia-toned photographs of the early use of photography in polar expeditions. The wet plate negative process had cumbersome equipment and was technically complicated, but it allowed for much more accurate and real time images to be produced.
Steve Fossett (1944-2007) was a successful commodities trader and an adventurer that set world records in balloons, sailboats, gliders and unique powered aircraft. In the 1980's Fossett began developing a library collection of over 2,000 books on adventure and exploration. His collection included significant and authoritative accounts of aeronautics, polar, Asia, Australasia, circumnavigation's, mountaineering and others. In 2007, Fossett disappeared on a solo flight in a light aircraft over the eastern Sierra Mountains along the California and Nevada border. After an extensive search, the wreckage was found by hikers a year later along the rugged Mt. Ritter range in the Ansel Adams Wilderness in Madera County, about 10 miles east of Yosemite National Park.