London: Kegan Paul, 1881. Very Good. First Edition. 8vo [9x6.25in]; xvi, 361 pp., frontispiece of crew on ship, 9 illustrations on five plates and in text, two color folding maps at rear, appendices and index; Rebacked with original spine and covers of blue cloth with gilt lettering on spine, black stamped lettering and designs on front with borders and gilt design, all edges untrimmed, stiff brown end papers; Some Shelf wear to edges, corners and covers, corners bumped, some soiling, stains and rubbing to covers, spine darken, prior owner ink signature on half title, bookplate of Steve Fossett on front end paper, no tissue guards on plates and some offset to pages, tape repairs to maps with some age toning, bookplate of Steve Fossett on front end paper. [Arctic Biblio 10931, Howgego III M19, Sanderson 964]. Item #13623
Sir Albert Hastings Markham (1841-1918), naval officer for 50 years and an Arctic explorer. He gained Arctic experience as a second mate on a whaler while on leave from the Navy. He was appointed to command the H.M.S. Alert on the British Arctic Expedition, 1875-6, under the command of George Nares. The objective was to discover the open polar sea, sail to the North Pole by way of Smith Sound, and explore the coast of Greenland.
The Nares expedition did not find an open polar sea and Markham believed a better approach was off of Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land in the Barents Sea. In 1879, Markham and Sir Henry Gore Booth sailed the cutter 'Isbjorn" to explore the the area, and collect plant, animal and geological specimens. They also were stopped by ice in the Kara Sea at 78 24'N. This book is Markham's narrative of the cruise, past explorations in the Barents Sea and a discussion on routes to the North Pole. The book contains appendices on the animals, sea life and ice conditions.
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.