London: John Murray, 1938. Near Fine in Near Fine dust-jacket First Edition, 1st Printing. 8ov, [8.75x6in]; xxiii, 270 pp.,  advertisements, frontispiece image of Bowers and Wilson, 13 plates of illustrations and images (three colored, one double-page), two maps with one fold out, index; Royal Blue cloth covers with gilt lettering on spine label, top edge with dark blue ink stain, all edges trimmed; Illustrated dust jacket with black and white lettering on front and spine, illustration of tents and Bowers on front and spine; Minimal shelf wear to edges and corners, top text and edge dusty and faded, spine and edges slightly darken, corners bottom corner wear, contemporary prior owner ink inscription and bookplate of Steve Fossett on front end paper, offset shade of inscription on half title page, minor foxing spots along text edges; Minor soiling and wear to dust jacket along edges with several small chips and closed tears, spine slightly darken. Overall a fine copy of the book and dust jacket. [Rosove 298.A.1, Conrad p. 189, Spence 1083, Taurus 147]. Item #13643
Henry Robertson Bowers (1883-1912) was a British seaman and soldier. This book is a biography of his life and with a focus on his participation and death in the Robert Falcon Scott Terra Nova Expedition to the Sought Pole 1910-13. Bowers, without prior polar experience, was recommended to Scott and became a shore party member in charge of logistics. He was part of a difficult winter journey with Edward Wilson and Apsley Cherry-Garrard to collect penguin eggs for embryonic study. In total darkness, blizzards, crevasses, and temperatures -40 to -70 below, they were successful after two weeks (this story is told by Cherry-Garrard in 'The Worst Journey in the World'). This so impressed Scott, that Bowers was selected for the final South Pole party. Scott, Wilson, Bowers, Oates and Evans arrived at the South Pole and found Amundsen's tent that he set a month earlier. On the return journey, they encountered extended blizzards, shortage of fuel and rations at the depots, and illness of Evans and Oates. They were defeated 11 miles from a supply depot and were found by a search party 9 months later. In letters found, Scott wrote of Bowers, "I write when we are very near the end of our journey, and I am finishing it in company with two gallant, noble gentlemen. One of these is your son. He had come to be one of my closest and soundest friends, and I appreciate his wonderful upright nature, his ability and energy. As the troubles have thickened his dauntless spirit ever shone brighter and he has remained cheerful, hopeful, and indomitable to the end."
George Seaver (1890-1976) was an English author, biographer of polar explorers, a vicar, dean and rector in the Episcopalian Church.
Steve Fossett (1944-2007) was a successful commodities trader and an adventurer that set world records in balloons, sailboats, gliders and unique powered aircraft. His 2,000 + book 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. 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.