By: Fridtjof Nansen
Illustrated card covers in As New condition. First of this edition, pp 527, b&w illustrations. In 1893 Fridtjof Nansen set off on one of the greatest journeys of exploration ever undertaken. The remarkable three-year project involved building a special ship, designed to ride out the savage pressure of the ice, to sail round the north of Russia into the Kara and Laptev Seas and then, using his intuition as to arctic currents, deliberately freeze the ship into the ice to drift towards the North Pole. From the drifting ship, Nansen and one of his men would then, using dog teams, make the last assault towards the North Pole across the pack. Characterised by Nansen's restless and endless innovation, the expedition was to be another in the litany of heroic failures. But its advances in technique, the sheer willpower that drove Nansen and Johansen, first north from the Fram and then south across the melting pack to the uncharted mass of Franz Josef Land, using sledge and kayak, under assault from walrus and polar bear and above all the temperamental and endlessly changing ice, was to light a fire of inspiration that later carried men to both North and South Pole. The first edition of Farthest North sold 40,000 copies in English on publication. One of its reviewers puts it best: 'Two things were very prominent. One was the indomitable faith of the man in himself, and the other the unanimity with which most of the best authorities believed he was going to a living grave.' Nansen had '...made the most conspicuous advance towards the Pole that has ever been made, and almost as great an advance as has been accomplished by all other voyages in the nineteenth century put together...He is a Man in a Million.' This is the only complete edition in English.