London, 1876. ,96pp. plus frontispiece map. Antique-style three-quarter morocco and marbled boards, spine gilt. Light foxing, else very good. The earliest printed account of the expedition to the North Pole aboard the Alert and Discovery, commanded by Capt. George Strong Nares. Nares served on Belcher's expedition to find Franklin and was subsequently involved in hydrographical surveying off the coast of Australia and in the Mediterranean. Based on his experience, Nares was given command of the Challenger circumnavigation. In 1874 he was recalled to lead the expedition covered in the present work, which was designed to reach the North Pole. The expedition turned out to be an ill-fated attempt, marked by an outbreak of scurvy. "The failure of the Nares expedition effectively ended British polar exploration for the next 25 years....The ships reached Lady Franklin Bay on Northern Ellesmere Island in late August, and the Alert went on to the extreme north of the island, the highest latitude that had yet been reached by ship. After wintering at their bases of Floeberg Beach and Discovery Harbour, three separate sledge journeys set out in April 1876 but within a month men in each group showed serious signs of scurvy. By July nearly half of the 122 men of the expedition were ill and a number had died. Nares reluctantly turned back, freed his two ships from the ice, and returned embarrassed if not disgraced to England on September 9, 1876" - BOOKS ON ICE. A rare work, effectively the predecessor of Nares' own NARRATIVE OF A VOYAGE TO THE POLAR SEA DURING 1875-6 IN H.M. SHIPS "ALERT" AND "DISCOVERY." Not in ARCTIC BIBLIOGRAPHY. BOOKS ON ICE, pp.57, 107. (Inventory #: WRCAM50598)
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