lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on explorers

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Allen, Benedict (ed.)
The Faber Book of Exploration An Anthology of Worlds Revealed by Explorers through the Ages
Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 2002.
Octavo; hardcover; 800pp. Mild wear; a little shaken; text block and page edges toned and top edge dusted. Dustwrapper. Very good. What does it feel like to walk off the edge of a map? To emerge dazed, dying yet triumphant, from the Amazon? To tread upon the moon, stand on the roof of the world, or crawl through the blackness of a deep cave? Benedict Allen's anthology of human exploration presents the words of those who, through the centuries, have set off into the "unknown" and returned - sometimes half-dead - to bring this "unknown" back to their people. This volume brings together Vikings and cosmonauts, conquistadors and botanists. Such an unlikely array of travelling companions, placed side by side in their chosen terrain - be it desert, mountain or moon - should make for a rich compendium that helps us to understand and appreciate what kind of attributes make a true "explorer".
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Anderson, George William
A New, Authentic, and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World Undertaken and Performed by Royal Authority, Containing a New, Authentic, Entertaining, Instructive, Full, and Complete Historical Account of Captain Cook's First, Second, Third and Last Voyages, Undertaken by Order of his Present Majesty for making New Discoveries in Geography, Navigation, Astronomy, &c.
Alex [ander] Hogg, London, 1784.
Quarto; hardcover, full academic cloth with gilt spine titling; 640pp., with many maps and engraved plates. Moderate wear; re-bound, with new endpapers; pages professionally restored and some maps mounted; frontispiece missing; previous owner's contemporary ink inscriptions to the title page; text block and page edges toned; offset and mild toning to the preliminaries; most plates lightly offset. Very good. This collection of Cook's voyages - known as "Anderson's Cook" - also covers the voyages of Byron, Wallis, Carteret, Mulgrave, Anson and Drake. Originally, it was issued in 80 parts priced at sixpence each 'being newly written by the editors from the authentic journals of several principal officers and other gentlemen of the most distinguished naval and philosophical abilities ..; and now publishing under the immediate direction of George William Anderson ...,' with a view of gaining an impressive market penetration for the material, as confirmed by his comments in the Preface, thus: "Some other editions of these Works, unnecessarily extended to many large Volumes by loose Printing &c. and published by mercenary Persons would cost the Purchaser the enormous Sum of upwards of Twenty Guineas; so that many Thousands of Persons who would wish to peruse the valuable Discoveries so partially communicated to the World have hitherto been excluded from gratifying their eager Curiosity; but this Edition is published in only Eighty Numbers at 6d each, making when complete either One or Two Large Handsome Volumes in Folio. The Poor as well as the Rich will thus become familiarly acquainted with these extraordinary and important Voyages and Discoveries". This single-volume gathering of the individual catchpenny pamphlets by Alexander Hogg of London brings all the information together in a single volume.
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Andrews, Kenneth R
English Privateering Voyages to the West Indies 1588-95: Hakluyt Society
Cambridge University Press, 1956.
Hardcover, octavo; blue cloth boards with gilt spine titling, embossed edges and upper board gilt insignia; 421pp., monochrome illustrations and fold out map. Owner's name and compliments sticker from Cambridge University pasted on endpaper. Minor wear; a few scattered spots on early pages; lightly browned text block edges with spotting. Blue card dustwrapper, foxed, with browning along spine and a few small chips at edges. Very good and now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Privateering was a form of legal private warfare at sea in which individuals who possessed suitable ships took the opportunity offered by a war to plunder enemy commerce. In this study of privateering during the Elizabethan war with Spain, which was originally published in 1966, Dr Andrews shows that it was closely connected with trade, in particular having a stimulating effect on oceanic commerce and that it was at the time the main form of English maritime warfare. Dr Andrews begins with an account of how privateering became legal and how it was organised. He then examines the various types of venture, describing the sort of people who took part and showing how profitable it was for some, particularly the bigger merchants and the professional seamen. Two contemporary narratives are included. Finally, Dr Andrews studies the role privateering played in overseas expansion.
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Bankes, The Reverend Thomas, Edward Warren Blake and Alexander Cook
A New Royal Authentic and Complete System of Universal Geography Antient and Modern: Including all the late important discoveries made by the English, and other celebrated navigators of various nations, in the different hemispheres; and containing a complete genuine history and description of the whole world... throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and America
Printed for J. Cooke, London, 1787.
Very early, highly likely, first edition (there are a number of variant copies of the initial printings which have been examined in depth by Alan Frost in an essay in The Latrobe Journal, no.8, October 1971, and later supplemented by an addendum in no.10, October 1972, which suggest the possibility that the first issue itself may not have been uniform with sections variably assembled). Folio hardcover, 460pp. Some initial page edges frayed with a few small tears and creases; p. 5-6 has a longitudinal crease and is partially detached; adjacent lower binding at that location is cracked but remains strong; pp. 19-22 is similar; penultimate page also has longitudinal crease whilst last page is very frayed at edges with a crumpled lower corner and a missing segment from inner upper margin with partial loss of text. Although an index of the remarkable illustrations is not provided there is no sign that any have been removed (a fate that frequently befell copies of this work). Extensive foxing throughout but illustrations are largely unblemished; the two fold-out maps are foxed and the first is very lightly crumpled at the extremity. Text block edges are browned and there is a small dark green stain to the bottom edge. The volume has been sympathetically rebound in quarter brown calf with five raised bands and gilt rules. Titles are gilt. There is some light scraping to extremities, bands and corners. 'Universal' geographies were being particularly essayed at the time with wide public interest in the discoveries of the exploratory expeditions. Amongst these Bankes' work is amongst the most imposing. This double-columned popular work ran to six editions in the ten years from 1787 to 1797. The author revised the text of his new Holland section at intervals in the 1790s to reflect the latest accounts of the English colony at Port Jackson.
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Bladen, F.M. (ed.)
Historical Records of New South Wales, Volume 1 Part 1: Cook 1762 - 1780
Landsdown Slattery & Co, Sydney, 1978.
Facsimile reprint of 1893 edition. Hardcover, octavo; brown boards with blind stamped borders and gilt spine titling, tan endpapers; 526pp., monochrome portrait frontispiece and monochrome illustrations; appendices; fold out reproductions of Entries in the Log-Books of the Endeavour including the first entry still extant in Cook's Log written when the Endeavour was off Cape Palliser in New Zealand; four facsimiles from Hick's journal entry related to Botany Bay; complete reproduction of Cook's log; much additional material and index. Minor wear; slight foxing to prelims; browned text block and page edges. Brown illustrated card dustwrapper with mildly faded spine and some scraping to corners and head of spine and a few small scrapes otherwise. Very good to near fine and covered in protective film with white paper backing.
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Bovill, E.W. (ed.)
Missions to the Niger - 4 volumes Volume I: The Journal of Friedrich Hornemann's Travels and the Letters of Alexander Gordon Laing; Volume II: The Bornu Mission, 1822-25 - Part I; Volume III: The Bornu Mission 1822-25 - Part 2; Volume IV: The Bornu Mission, 1822-25 - Part 3.
Hakluyt Society, Cambridge UK, 1962.
Second series, four volumes: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles and upper board decorations and blind-ruled boards 1,204pp. [406pp. + 289pp. + 306pp. + 203pp.], with four monochrome portrait frontispieces, many plates likewise, several maps (7 folding), and other illustrations. Mild wear; toned text block edges; board corners bumped. Endpaper of fourth volume glued to pastedown. Dustwrappers worn along edges and corners with chipping and small tears to the spine panel extremities; spine panels embrowned; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. These volumes describe the exploration of the Niger following its discovery by Mungo Park. It begins with the travels of Friedrich Hornemann and then leaps a quarter of a century to the great journey of Alexander Gordon Laing. The following three volumes consist of the edited text of the "Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa in the Years 1822-25" by Major D. Denham, Captain H. Clapperton and Dr. W. Oudeny.
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Burton, Capt. Richard, Capt. John Speke, et al. (Donald Young, ed.)
The Search for the Source of the Nile Correspondence between Captain Richard Burton, Captain John Speke and others, from Burton's unpublished East African Letter Book; together with other related letters and papers in the collection of Quentin Keynes, Esq., now printed for the first time.
The Roxburghe Club/Bernard Quaritch Ltd., London, 1999.
Royal octavo; hardcover, blind-stamped cloth with gilt spine titles and upper board decoration; 207pp., with a tipped-in monochrome photographic frontispiece, a bound-in facsimile letter, and a folding map at rear. Near fine. Includes promotional material laid in. This is Burton's account of exploring central Africa in search of the source of the Nile. He was accompanied in his endeavours by John Hanning Speke, and the two had a difficult relationship which remained unresolved on Speke's death in a shooting accident. Burton painstakingly describes the geography and the people they encountered in their travels. This is one of a limited edition print run of only 400 copies.
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Cook, Capt. James (G. Kearsley, ed.)
An Abridgement of Captain Cook's Last Voyage Performed in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780, for making discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere by Order of His Majesty; Extracted from the Quarto Edition in Three Volumes.
G. Kearsley, London, 1787.
Octavo; hardcover, half-bound in calf with marbled boards, gilt spine titles on a red morocco label between five raised bands decorated in gilt; 488pp. [2 Blank + xxivpp. + 442pp. + 16pp. (Index) + 2pp. of adverts + 2 Blank], on laid paper with marbled edges, with a folding engraved frontispiece ("The Death of Cook"), a folding chart and five engraved plates. Moderate wear; boards, edges and joints well rubbed; crackling to the leather on the spine; text block top edges dusted; previous owner's ink inscription to the front pastedown and title page; mild offset throughout; folding plates backed with linen. Very good. The British Admiralty claimed the rights to publish any material which had been generated on its ships during its missions of exploration and were generally scrupulous about depriving the seamen on board of their journals whenever they returned to port. The publication of Cooks' narrative of his Third Voyage - notoriously cut short by his death in Hawaii - was seen as a lucrative means of recouping monies spent upon the enterprise; an eager public, keen to read of his exploits, were not about to prove them wrong. Not everybody could afford to pay the sums expected to purchase the work however, and few wanted to deal with its quarto format with accompanying maps, so the enterprising George Kearsley (publisher) saw his way clear to producing an abridged smaller format version which suited the market admirably. The Admiralty were not so keen to see funds diverted away from them like this and entered into a battle of words with the canny publisher. As a result, the Preface to the volume is both a long apology and an explanation as to Kearsley's altruistic reasons for publishing it. Possibly due to the acrimony surrounding the publication, the main bibliographer of works by and about Cook, Beddie, overlooked the second edition in his listings (this is the fourth). The book is of interest also for the fact that it reproduces the Royal Society Medal presented to Cook post-mortem - designed by Pingo and engraved here by Trotter - and goes into a fair amount of detail about this award. (See: Beddie 1547; Forbes, "Hawaiian National Bibliography", 68). This copy of the work was previously owned by Sir Joseph Palmer Abbott, the distinguished Australian politician and solicitor.
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d'Urville, Jules S-C Dumont (Helen Rosenman, trans. & ed.)
An Account in Two Volumes of Two Voyages to the South Seas by Jules S-C Dumont D'Urville... Volume 1: "Astrolabe" 1826-1829; Volume 2: "Astrolabe" and "Zelee" 1837-1840
Melbourne University Press, Carlton Vic., 1987.
Two volumes: quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles on scarlet labels; 634pp. [311pp. + 323pp.] with two monochrome frontispieces, 44 monochrome and colour plates and many other illustrations. Very minor wear; previous owner's name plate to the upper corner of the front pastedowns of both volumes. No dustwrappers as issued. Near fine in lightly rubbed and dusted slipcase. Ex-libris Jonathan Wantrup. Rear-Admiral Dumont d'Urville was a brilliant sailor who made two great scientific and exploratory voyages to the Pacific and the Antarctic. The first, 1826-29 solved the 40 year old mystery of the disappearance of La Perouse. The coup of the second voyage, 1837-40 was d'Urville's discovery, ahead of the American Wilkes and the British Ross expeditions, that Antarctica was a continent. He was twice in New Zealand. In 1840 to his chagrin, when he was in the South Island, Britain proclaimed sovereignty over both islands to thwart French plans to settle the Banks Peninsula. D'Urville possessed enormous vitality, curiosity, perseverance and scepticism. His own and his officers' shrewd observations on the many places visited present a sad and often angry commentary on the devastation being wreaked on the ancient but fragile cultures and environments of Oceania.
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Eyre, Edward John
Reports of the Expedition to King George's Sound 1841 and the Death of Baxter - limited edition
Nag's Head Press, Sullivan's Cove TAS, 1983.
Octavo; hardcover, with titles on a cream label tipped-on to the upper board; 48pp., hand-set and printed. Minor wear. Dustwrapper protected by non-adhesive archival film with white paper backing. Near fine. Edward John Eyre is a contentious figure in Australian history, almost as chequered as William Bligh. Misfortune and suspicion dogged his career which was worldwide. This report concerns the details of an exploratory voyage to King George Sound in Western Australia starting at Adelaide and focusses particularly upon an incident when a man named Baxter was murdered at one of the party's campsites. Eyre claimed that two indigenous men, in league with one of the expedition's trackers, killed Baxter in order to steal guns; the Aboriginal tracker reported that it was Eyre who killed Baxter in a fit of rage at his bouts of drunkenness. Whatever the real circumstances, Eyre's reputation has been clouded ever since. This is his account of the story, published in a limited, initialled edition of 155 copies; the present copy being No.10.
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Flinders, Matthew
A Voyage to Terra Australia - Australiana Facsimile Editions, No.37 Undertaken for the purpose of completing the discovery of that vast country and prosecuted in the years 1801, 1802 and 1803 in His Majesty's ship "The Investigator"
Libraries Board of South Australia, Adelaide SA, 1966.
Two volumes and a solander case of folding charts: folio; hardcover, buckram boards with gilt spine titles on burgundy labels; 1,115pp. [1-4; i-ix; 1-10; i-cciv; 1-269; 1 Blank + 1-4; 1-613; 1 Blank], with 9 monochrome plates, 18 charts and elevations and 10 botanical plates. Moderate wear; boards rubbed with some marks; text block edges toned and top edge dusted; mild scattered foxing, mainly to the preliminaries; maps and plates clean, though mis-folded (now corrected) with some creasing and bruising. Very good. "A Voyage to Terra Australis" is a sea voyage journal written by English mariner and explorer Matthew Flinders. It describes his circumnavigation of the Australian continent in the early years of the 19th century, and his imprisonment by the French on the island of Mauritius from 1804-1810. The book tells in great detail his explorations and includes maps and drawings of the profiles of unknown coastline areas of what Flinders called "Terra Australis Incognita". By this, he was referring to the great unknown Southern continent that had been sighted and partly mapped by prominent earlier mariners such as Captain James Cook. The ship Flinders commanded, HMS Investigator, was a 334-ton sloop. Up until this time the circumnavigation of Australia - which was necessary to prove it was a single continent land mass - had never been completed. He achieved this by circling the island continent, leaving Sydney in July 1801, heading north, through Torres Strait, across the top of the continent westward, and south along the western coastline. Flinders reached and named Cape Leeuwin on 6 December 1802, and proceeded to make a survey along the southern coast of the Australian mainland, and then completing the journey, arrived back in Sydney in June 1803, despite the dangerous condition of his ship. Flinders' further description of imprisonment on Mauritius preceded his final return to England in October 1810 in poor health: despite this he immediately resumed work preparing "A Voyage to Terra Australis" and his maps for publication. In January 1811 approval for publication of his narrative was given by the Admiralty, but payment was restricted to the atlas and charts sections. Flinders was responsible for funding the major work. The full title of this book which was first published in London in July 1814 was given, as was common at the time, a synoptic description: "A Voyage to Terra Australis: undertaken for the purpose of completing the discovery of that vast country, and prosecuted in the years 1801, 1802, and 1803 in His Majesty's ship the Investigator, and subsequently in the armed vessel Porpoise and Cumberland Schooner. With an account of the shipwreck of the Porpoise, arrival of the Cumberland at Mauritius, and imprisonment of the commander during six years and a half in that island". Original publications of the Atlas to Flinders' "Voyage to Terra Australis" are held at the Mitchell Library in Sydney, Australia, as a portfolio that accompanied the book and included engravings of 16 maps, 4 plates of views, and 10 plates of Australian flora. Flinders' map of Terra Australis was first published in January 1814 and the remaining maps were published before his atlas and book. On 19 July 1814, the day after the book and atlas were published, Matthew Flinders died, at the age of 40.
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Gammage, Bill
The Sky Travellers Journeys in New Guinea, 1938-1939
Miegunyah Press, Carlton Vic., 1998.
Second impression: quarto; hardcover; 292pp., with many monochrome plates. Slightly scuffed dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Otherwise near fine. The Sky Travellers is the story of an extraordinary journey of exploration - three thousand kilometres by foot, from March 1938 to June 1939, through the formidable mountains of the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The Hagen-Sepik Patrol was Australia's last great exploring expedition, mapping and describing unknown country, making first contact with many Highland peoples and establishing outposts as well as finding a major goldfield. Bill Gammage combines the rigour of a committed historian with the skills of a storyteller to trace a complex journey of minds as well as bodies.
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Green M.A., William Spotswood
The High Alps of New Zealand or, A Trip to the Glaciers of the Antipodes with an Ascent of Mount Cook
Macmillan & Co., London, 1883.
Octavo; hardcover, full-calf, with gilt spine-title on a red morocco label, gilt spine decorations in compartments between five raised bands, a gilt upper board decoration with gilt rules and dentelles on both boards, and marbled endpapers; 350pp., edges marbled, with an engraved frontispiece (with tissue guard) with four maps, one folding. Some rubbing to the boards and spine extremities; top corners bumped; mild foxing to the preliminaries; previous owner's pencil inscription to the first blank page. Very good. The High Alps of New Zealand is Irish mountaineer William Spotswood Green's account of his climbing expedition in the Southern Alps and, specifically, his attempt to climb Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand. Although he was ultimately unsuccessful, Green came within sixty meters of the summit and remained the highest point achieved on Mt. Cook until its first ascension in 1894. In addition to his account of the Southern Alps, Green touches on his Australian climbs, and provides appendices for both novice and experienced climbers.
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Guadalupi, Gianni
The Discovery of the Nile
Stewart Tabori & Chang, New York NY, 1997.
Folio; hardcover, with gilt upper board and spine titling; 351pp., many colour plates and illustrations, some folding. Minor wear only. Dustwrapper with a few superficial scratches. Near fine. Roman legionnaires, Portuguese Jesuits, Scots, and Frenchmen all tried in vain to reveal the great secrets of the river Nile; all were defeated by impassable swamps or diverted along dead-end branches. It was not until the mid-nineteenth century - almost 400 years after the discovery of America - that the mystery was solved, thanks to the efforts of the British explorers Sir Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, James Augustus Grant, and Samuel White Baker. This book tells their stories and those of all the other adventurers who tackled the secret of the source. It also recounts the gradual exploration of the course of the river and its tributaries, from the ancient Egyptians to the Napoleonic conquest, from the British expedition to Abyssinia to the Egyptian invasion of Sudan, from the slave and ivory trades to the epic death of General Charles George Gordon at Khartoum, from the stories of the stranded white men 'rescued' by Henry Morton Stanley after a march of thousands of miles across the Congo, to the reconquest of the Sudan by the British. The Discovery of the Nile contains more than 1500 images, from the ancient Egyptians' own portrayals of their river through European maps of the medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment eras. Later on, artists who accompanied the search teams and military campaigns produced dramatic scenes of battles, paintings of the African cultures they encountered, architectural renderings of pyramids and temples along the river's banks, botanical/zoological illustrations of indigenous flora and fauna, and illustrative surveys of pharaonic riches uncovered - all of which are magnificently reproduced herein.
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Hakluyt, Richard (David B. and Alison M. Quinn, eds.)
Discourse Concerning Western Planting
Hakluyt Society, Cambridge UK, 1993.
Folio; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling and upper board decoration; 229pp., with many photographic monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear to dustwrapper: some stains on the front panel and some creasing to the rear; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Otherwise near fine. A facsimile and transcription of the most elaborate and important prospectus for English colonisation in North America to have been written in the sixteenth century. Full title: 'A Particuler Discourse Concerninge the Greate Necessitie and Manifolde Commodyties that are like to Growe to this Realme of Englande by the Westerne Discoueries Lately Attempted'. It is the only extended prose work in English of Richard Hakluyt, the younger [1552-1616]. It was unknown to scholars until its appearance in print in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1877. It was a confidential state paper presented to Queen Elizabeth I on 3 October 1584 and the present text is the only one of the very few copies made in 1585 to have survived. It was made known to Sir Walter Ralegh, Sir Francis Walsingham, and not more than three other persons in the royal administration. The book from which this facsimile was made is now in the possession of the New York Public Library. It may or may not have been the copy presented to Sir Francis Walsingham. Hakluyt presented his wide-ranging plans in eloquent and lucid form, carefully constructed so as to appeal to the Queen's fervent nationalism and prejudices. A remarkable document.
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Howell, Georgina
Daughter of the Desert The Remarkable Life of Gertrude Bell
Macmillan/Pan Macmillan Ltd., London, 2006.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 519pp., with maps and 16pp. of monochrome plates. Mild wear; text block edges lightly toned and top edge dusted. Dustwrapper lightly edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. Archaeologist, spy, Arabist, linguist, author, poet, photographer, mountaineer and nation builder, Gertrude Bell was born in 1868 into a world of privilege and plenty, but she turned her back on all that for her passion for the Arab peoples, becoming the architect of the independent kingdom of Iraq and seeing its first king Faisal safely onto the throne in 1921. Daughter of the Desert is her story, vividly told and impeccably researched, drawing on Gertrude's own writings, both published and unpublished. It is a compelling portrait of a woman who transcended the restrictions of her class and age and in so doing created a remarkable and enduring legacy.
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Jeal, Tim
Explorers of the Nile The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure
Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 2011.
Hardcover, octavo; green boards with gilt spine titling, brown endpapers; 510pp., monochrome and colour plates. Binding very slightly rolled; mild toning and spotting to text block edges. Very good to near fine in like dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. "The story of the search for the elusive Nile source is well known and, you might think, amply covered - not least by Alan Moorehead's hugely influential The White Nile. And yet, as Tim Jeal is quick to assert, there has been no attempt to examine in depth the array of published and unpublished material that has appeared since The White Nile's publication in 1960, notably Quentin Keynes's extensive collection, released after his death in 2003. There have been biographies of the seven principal players - Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, Samuel and Florence Baker, Captain Grant, Stanley and Livingstone - the latter two subjects of Jeal himself. But while recent years have seen Christopher Ondaatje's examination of the physical terrain, Journey to the Source of the Nile, and Guy Yeoman's posthumous The Quest for the Secret Nile, a clarification of the geography of the source complex, a 'return to the Victorian Nile story', as Jeal says, 'seems long overdue'. Jeal settles to his task with accustomed diligence. Burton is further exposed as duplicitous, forever seeking how Africa might be best worked into his stage. Admirers of the brilliant Orientalist will be disappointed to learn that for 11 months, his leadership of the first exploration of the Nile source complex was conducted not by him steadfastly on foot, as we have been rather led to believe, but flat on his back, barely conscious and carried in a litter by porters. We also learn much that is new about his hapless companion Speke, referred to pointedly by Burton as his 'subordinate'. He emerges as a better geographer than we have supposed, with a perennial interest in first-hand observation rather than Arab hearsay. That he, not Burton, was the discoverer of a major Nile source we have long known, but not until now did we know the extent of his superior's shenanigans to belittle and thwart him. Jeal, unlike Burton, marches on briskly, adjusting the reputations of each protagonist. We learn that Florence Baker proved an admirable asset, loading weaponry under fire, and so on through to Livingstone (less of the saint that Moorehead portrayed) and Stanley (less of a villain), whose travels closed the debate - and prepared the 'Dark Continent' for colonisation. This engrossing book is a great feat, important not only for shedding fresh light on a tale of Victorian endeavour and pride but also for reminding us of the far-reaching consequences of this European intrusion into the heart of African affairs." - Benedict Allen
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Lady Bell, D.B.E. (ed.)
The Letters of Gertrude Bell - two volumes Selected and Edited
Ernest Benn Ltd., London, 1927.
Reprint: two volumes, royal octavo; hardcover, full cloth with gilt spine titles and blind-ruled upper boards; 1,193pp. [402pp. + 791pp.], with two monochrome portrait frontispieces, 29 plates likewise and two maps, one folding. Moderate wear; shaken and rolled; hinges tender (but strong); spine sunned and extremities softened; text block edges lightly toned with some spotting and top edges dusted; offset to the endpapers; retailers bookplates to the rear pastedowns. No dustwrappers. Good. Asia Minor was the scene of Gertrude bell's achievements, for her genius found comprehension and mastery of Arab life and politics. She worked hand in hand with Desert chieftains, diplomats and soldiers, showing herself time and again the indispensable intermediary between East and West. Her uniqueness lay in her being friend and counsellor to both parties. The story which these pages tell is as much of the person as its historic adventures.
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Landor, A. Henry Savage
In the Forbidden Land An account of a journey in Tibet, capture by the Tibetan authorities, imprisonment, torture, and ultimate release; also, various official documents, including the enquiry and report by J. Larkin, Esq., appointed by the Government of India.
William Heinemann Ltd. London, 1899.
Second edition: octavo; hardcover, full decorated cloth with gilt spine titles; 508pp. (+ 32pp. of adverts), untrimmed, with a monochrome portrait frontispiece (plus tissue guard), many illustrations likewise, and a folding map. Moderate wear; somewhat cocked; spine extremities softened; boards mildly rubbed and edgeworn with some minor marks; text block edges toned and top edge dusted; offset to the preliminaries; top joint cracked (still strong); previous owner's bookplate to the front pastedown; previous owner's ink inscription to the flyleaf; map professionally repaired. No dustwrapper. Very good. Laid in: a sales invoice. "In this book I have set down the record of a journey in Tibet undertaken by me during the spring, summer and autumn of 1897. It is illustrated partly from my photographs and partly from sketches made by me on the spot. Only as regards the torture scenes have I had to draw from memory, but it will be easily conceded that their impression must be vivid enough with me..." (from the author's Preface).
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Landsborough, William (Introduction by Valmai Hankel)
Journal of Landsborough's Expedition from Carpentaria In Search of Burke & Wills
Friends of the State Library of South Australia, Adelaide SA, 2000.
Facsimile reprint: octavo; hardcover, full cloth decorated in blind with gilt spine-titling, with a folding map in a pocket to the rear pastedown; 103pp., with a monochrome portrait frontispiece. Minor wear. No dustwrapper as issued. Near fine. "Everyone has heard of the explorers Burke and Wills, who died when attempting to cross the Australian continent in 1861, but few will know of William Landsborough, a quiet unassuming man who in the middle of the 19th century explored and opened up vast areas of land in north-eastern Australia to settlement and farming. He was considered such a good bushman and explorer that he was chosen to lead one of the four search parties sent out to look for Burke and Wills in 1861. In the process of this search he became the first man to cross Australia from the Gulf of Carpentaria to Melbourne. Adding even more interest to this already fascinating story, is the account of William's boat trip north to the Gulf of Carpentaria to commence the search, during which he survived shipwreck and mutiny on one of the Barrier Reef islands. In his day, Landsborough's exploits were feted but now he is largely unknown, ironically perhaps because he was such a capable bushman and explorer that he lived to tell the tale."
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Leichhardt, F.W. Ludwig (M. Aurousseau, ed.)
The Letters of F.W. Ludwig Leichhardt - Three volumes
Cambridge University Press for the Hakluyt Society, London, 1968.
Three volumes: octavo; hardcover, blind rules to boards with gilt spine titling and upper board decoration; 1,174pp, with Appendices and an Index (vol. 3). Minor wear; slightly faded spine; lightly toned and spotted upper text block edges. Dustwrappers with faded and browned spine panels; one or two spots and marks with slight browning and wear to edges and corners; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine.
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McDouall Stuart, John
Explorations Across the Continent of Australia, with Charts, 1861-62
Friends of the State Library of South Australia, Adelaide SA, 1996.
Facsimile reprint: octavo; hardcover, full cloth decorated in blind with gilt spine-titling; 103pp., with a folding chart. Minor wear. No dustwrapper as issued. Near fine. Stuart and his team left Adelaide in 1859, returning four years later after having crossed the continent from south to the north and back. Their travels helped to reveal the real nature of Australia's red heart, and yet their efforts were all but eclipsed by the tragic failure that was the Burke and Wills Expedition which set out into oblivion during the time that Stuart and his men were away. Stuart was not well-known or respected before his achievements and little concrete is known of him; this facsimile reprint of his journal helps clarify the smokey image we have of the "Napoleon of Explorers" as he was known, and brings him back to our attention.
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Mawson, Sir Douglas
The Home of the Blizzard - abridged popular edition Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., London, 1930.
First edition thus: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles and blind rules to the upper board; 438pp., with a monochrome portrait frontispiece, 80pp. of monochrome plates; 18 maps and diagrams and 3 folding charts. Moderate wear; shaken; spine extremities softened and lightly pulled; spine sunned; boards lightly rubbed; text block edges toned and spotted; offset to the endpapers; previous owners' ink inscriptions to the front endpapers; light scattered foxing throughout. No dustwrapper. Very good. Tipped-in: the original receipt for the purchase of the book and a short article about the Antarctic from a 1947 issue of the Reader's Digest. 'Outside the bowl of chaos was brimming with drift-snow and, as I lay in the sleeping-bag beside my dead companion, I wondered how I would manage to break and pitch camp single-handed.' The Home of the Blizzard is a tale of discovery and adventure in the Antarctic - of pioneering deeds, great courage, heart-stopping rescues and heroic perseverance. This classic book is also a detailed account of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition's daily subsistence on the icy continent, its scientific endeavours, and Douglas Mawson's epic sledge journey in 1912-13 during which his companions Ninnis and Mertz both perished. This is the abridged version of the original two-volume issue, but still contains over ninety original images depicting the wildlife, the harsh living conditions and the spirit of the explorers.
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Neale, Jonathan
Tigers of the Snow How One Fateful Climb Made the Sherpas Mountaineering Legends
Little Brown, London, 2002.
Octavo hardcover; blue boards with gilt spine titling, blue endpapers; 338pp., colour and monochrome plates. Toned text block and page edges. Very good to near fine in like dustwrapper. "By turns contemplative and dramatic, Anglo-American novelist Neale tells the story of Sherpa involvement in European climbs in the Himalayas, focusing on the disastrous German attempt on Nanga Parbat in 1934. Out of the valleys of Khumbu south to Solu come the Sherpas, who have made their living for generations carrying loads over the high mountain passes for trade into Tibet. As Europeans started eyeing the great 20,000-footers in the Himalayas, they naturally chose Sherpas to assist in these climbs. Since these first European mountaineers were upper-crust men lugging the ideological baggage of their class 'challenge, instinctive, man, desire, conquer' are its watchwords, according to Neale; unsurprising that they treated the Sherpas with less respect than they deserved. Though the Sherpas climbed for money and fame just like the Europeans, they were treated as second-class citizens on the mountains and often left to their own devices in a pinch, whereas they came to the aid of all failing Europeans. The evolution of this relationship is what intrigues Neale, who traces it in a comfortably conversational tone that suits a narrative containing many talks with Sherpas, including one who was a member of the 1934 German climb. That drive on Nanga Parbat, fuelled by ignorance of high-altitude conditions and Nazi political ambitions, in Neale's view defined the Sherpas' will at great heights and made them think twice about future exploits with Europeans. Not until the arrival in the Himalayas of professional Alpine and American guides, themselves unapologetic workingmen, did the Sherpas start to get a measure of respect and equality. Today they still struggle for that respect and still wonder at the motivations of many European climbers. The kind of thoughtful and informed portrait that the Sherpas richly deserve." - Kirkus
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Noyce, Wilfrid
South Col One Man's Adventure on the Ascent of Everest, 1953
William Heinemann, Melbourne Vic., 1954.
First edition. Hardcover, octavo; blue boards with gilt spine titling, illustrated brown endpapers, top edges dyed dark blue; 303pp., monochrome plates. Some light offsetting to front board with mild wear to edges and corners; foxing to prelims and title page with browning and spotting to text block edges. Lightly foxed illustrated dustwrapper with tiny missing segments at spine extremities and corners and mildly browned spine. Very good. "Unlike most of his companions, Wilfrid Noyce was ever recording his thoughts as they came to him, day by day almost hour by hour. My most vivid memory of him was his patient perseverance in the writing of his journal. As we walked towards Everest through the green foreground of Nepal, he was ever at it, in the tent while we chattered, or the shade of some boulder or bush. While Charles Evans sketched and others photographed the events upon the stage of our adventure and its great backcloth of mountains, he was storing it up in his notebook; while some chased butterflies, beetles or grasshoppers, he was capturing some impression as it flitted through his mind. And he continued to make his notes in the Icefall, the Western Cwm, on the Face of Lhotse, upon the South Col itself. South Col is the product of all that labour. In it we can follow again the story of Everest in 1953, but we see it afresh through the eyes of one who is not only a great mountaineer, but whose attitude to the mountains is that of a poet... To Wilfrid, Everest appeared neither as friend nor foe. The spirit of the mountain seemed to him to be supremely aloof from our struggles, sure in the knowledge that our footsteps would be effaced overnight, indifferent to the brief triumph which left the mountain unscathed. Perhaps he is right: such concepts are playthings of the mind. But I fancy it is in this sphere that the ascent of Everest will endure. Wilfrid Noyce who contributed greatly to our physical achievement, has now made a further contribution, no less fine, to the story of Everest." - John Hunt
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Oxley, John (George Evans & John Lewin, illus.)
Journals of Two Expeditions into the Interior of New South Wales - Australiana Facsimile Editions, No.6 Undertaken by order of the British Government in the years 1817-18
Libraries Board of South Australia, Adelaide SA, 1964.
Facsimile reproduction: quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling; 408pp., with a large folding engraved plate and five aquatint plates - one coloured - three folding charts and two folding tables. Moderate wear; mildly shaken; boards mildly scuffed with some softening to the head and tail of the spine; lower corners lightly bumped; text block edges lightly spotted and dusted along the top edge; retailer's bookplate on front pastedown; offsetting to the endpapers. Lacks dustwrapper. Good to very good. Oxley's journal of this piece of inland exploration is probably one of the finest examples of an explorer's journal to come from the settlement of Australia. The original print run in 1820 consisted of only 500 copies which explains, not only the relative scarcity of original copies, but also the South Australian Libraries Board's decision to produce this facsimile reproduction from their holdings in 1964. This is a fine and faithful reproduction of this rarity.
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Park, Mungo (Introduction by John Keay)
Travels in the Interior of Africa - Folio Society edition
Folio Society, London, 1991.
Reprint: octavo hardcover, with gilt spine titling, tipped-on upper board illustration and endpaper maps; 203pp., top edges dyed dark blue, with a monochrome portrait frontispiece and 15pp. of plates likewise. Minor wear; some rubbing to boards and mildly faded spine panel. Very good in a like slipcase. "Mungo Park's Travels is a classic of English exploration literature - a contemporary bestseller whose influence lingered throughout the next century, and into the 20th, inspiring a remarkable variety of writers, from Wordsworth and Melville, to Conrad and Hemingway. A solitary, quiet, young Scot with itchy feet, Park had ventured alone into the African interior in search of the Niger river at the age of 24. He was equipped with a horse, an umbrella, a change of clothes, a compass, a pistol - and a hat. When he emerged 18 months later, he was in rags, but carrying a fistful of notes and his hat. He was greeted as one who had risen from the dead, and soon after his remarkable escape he began to commit the story of his adventures to paper. Park was not just a hero-explorer of 'the Dark Continent', he was also fiercely engaged in the contemporary debate about slavery and its longed-for abolition. This makes him modern; and so does his prose, which is not only a thrilling tale of adventure and survival, but also (in his confrontations with the practice of the slave trade) an eye-witness's argument against a humanitarian catastrophe. In his solitude, he was often the victim of violent theft, was once left for dead, and is almost always finding himself in some kind of jeopardy. Park usually travelled with native guides, or on his own, with not much idea of where he was going, apart from what he could pick up from local people. Inter alia, he was captured by Moors, but escaped. He had to bang on village gates to avoid being eaten by lions. He was chronically unwell, often with malaria, but also from the side-effects of malnutrition (he nearly starved to death during a famine).Throughout his Travels, Park the quiet man reports an extraordinary, heart-stopping tale with equanimity and good humour. Well received in his own time, and consistently rediscovered by subsequent generations, Park's Travels has never quite achieved the broader recognition as a classic that it deserves. The explorer's own life was similarly overtaken by oblivion. On a second mission to the Niger, he and his party are reported to have met their deaths in the depths of their quest for its source. Park was just 34." - Robert McCrum
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Peary, Robert E. (Introduction by Theodore Roosevelt)
The North Pole
Hodder and Stoughton Ltd., London, 1910.
First edition: quarto; hardcover, full cloth boards with gilt spine titles, upper board titles and rules, a tipped-on circular front board illustration and a decorated lower board; 326pp., untrimmed, with a monochrome photogravure portrait frontispiece (with tissue guard); 3 other illustrations likewise, 112pp. of monochrome plates, and a folding colour map. Moderate wear; slightly rolled; spine extremities softened and slightly pulled; boards rubbed with some marks; wear and mild fraying to edges; lower corners lightly bumped; offset to the endpapers; previous owners' ink inscriptions to the flyleaf; scattered foxing throughout. No dustwrapper as issued. Good to very good. For Peary his overriding ambition became the North Pole. It was a dream that had also obsessed many others. His first exploration attempt was Greenland in 1886. He managed just 100 miles before turning back. In 1891 he broke his leg but the recuperation enabled him to more clearly define how to achieve his ambition. Inuit survival techniques were now researched and this gave him valuable insight. By 1892 he had established that Greenland was an island. In his 1898-1902 expedition, he claimed an 1899 visual discovery of "Jesup Land" west of Ellesmere. Peary also achieved a "farthest north" for the western hemisphere in 1902 north of Canada's Ellesmere Island. Peary's next expedition was supported by a $50,000 gift. Peary used the money for a new ship. The SS Roosevelt battled its way through the ice between Greenland and Ellesmere Island, establishing an American hemisphere "farthest north by ship." The 1906 "Peary System" dogsled drive for the pole across the rough sea ice of the Arctic Ocean started from the north tip of Ellesmere at 83 north latitude. The parties made well under 10 miles (16 km) a day until they became separated by a storm. Peary was without a companion sufficiently trained in navigation to verify his account from that point northward. With insufficient food, and with uncertainty about whether he could negotiate the ice between him and land, he made the best possible dash and barely escaped with his life off the melting ice. On April 20, he was no further north than 86 degrees 30 minutes latitude. He claimed the next day to have achieved a Farthest North world record at 87 degrees 06 minutes and returned to 86 degrees 30 minutes without camping, an implied trip of at least 72 nautical miles (133 km) between sleeping, even assuming direct travel with no detours. There is little doubt that although greatly honoured for his expeditions that Peary was rather elastic with the truth. For his final assault on the Pole, Peary and 23 men, including Ross Gilmore Marvin, set off from New York City on July 6, 1908 aboard the S.S. Roosevelt under the command of Captain Robert Bartlett. They wintered near Cape Sheridan on Ellesmere Island, and from Ellesmere departed for the pole on February 28 - March 1, 1909. This book relates that attempt on the North Pole.
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Perkins, John, with The American Museum of Natural History
To the Ends of the Earth Four Expeditions to the Arctic, the Congo, the Gobi, and Siberia
Pantheon Books/Random House Inc., New York NY, 1981.
Landscape quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles; 184pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; some toning and light spotting to the text block edges. Dustwrapper is rubbed and edgeworn with a few small tears; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. "To the Ends of the Earth" by John Perkins is more than a book, it is also a poem. Every page is lucid and concise. There is no pretension in the way this book is written. The sole purpose of the book is to inform and enlighten. The magic of this book lies in the complexity of human nature and the simplicity of what we all are searching for. "To the Ends of the Earth" is about life in the raw, as it was for all of our ancestors and still is for some. Mr. Perkins has collected the photographs, from the Archives of the Museum of Natural History in New York, taken by the explorers of the Arctic, Congo, Gobi, and Siberia. Therefore, each page of text is accompanied by a photograph that serves as a window into the heart of the jungle/desert/tundra of the most untamed areas of the world. When reading this book one is transported to a different time and place, and one feels part of something real. Although it is about simple people, this book questions the fundaments of the human struggle on a cosmic level, so frequently overlooked in the world we live in today.
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Rudolph, Ivan
Eyre The Forgotten Explorer
HarperCollins Publishers, Sydney NSW, 2013.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 404pp., with many colour and monochrome plates. Minor wear only. Near fine in like dustwrapper. Lake Eyre, the Eyre Peninsula, the Eyre Highway that traverses the Nullarbor between Adelaide to Perth and many other landmarks are named after explorer Edward John Eyre. So why do Australians know so little about this explorer today? Edward John Eyre was one of the most intrepid explorers to tackle the unforgiving Australian outback - and one of the youngest. Lake Eyre, the Eyre Highway between Adelaide and Perth, and many other landmarks are named after him, yet so little is known of his time here. He also had an international career beyond his Australian experiences, including as Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand. Author Ivan Rudolph shows how this idealistic young Englishman - still in his teens when he arrived in New South Wales in 1833 - transformed himself into a rugged frontiersman, one of the first to overland cattle to Melbourne and Adelaide. But it's Eyre's attempt on the Nullarbor that was the peak of his Australian career. Determined to find an overland route to Perth, he left Adelaide with a small party on 18 June 1840. Beset by the harsh terrain, scarcity of water, the danger from hostile Indigenous people and dissent - and worse - among Eyre's companions, could Eyre achieve his ambition and find a way across the Nullarbor? A fascinating portrait of a forgotten hero of Australian history.
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Scott, Captain R.F., & Dr. E.A. Wilson (Leonard Huxley, ed.; Preface by Sir Clements R. Markham)
Scott's Last Expedition - Two Volumes. Vol I. being the Journals of Captain R.F. Scott, R.N., C.V.O. Vol II. being the Reports of the Journeys and the Scientific Work undertaken by Dr. E.A. Wilson and the Surviving Members of the Expedition.
Smith Elder & Co. Ltd., London, 1913.
First edition: two volumes, octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles and rules and blind rules to the upper boards; 1,209pp. [xxvipp. + 633pp. + xvipp. + 534pp.], untrimmed, top edges gilt, with two monochrome portrait frontispieces, 2 folding panoramas, 3 double-page plates and 181 plates likewise, plus 8 maps (6 folding and 1 in colour), 18 colour plates and 2 black-and-white illustrations. Moderate wear; both volumes shaken; spine extremities softened; spine of Volume I cracked; spines sunned with some chipping to Volume I; boards lightly rubbed with some mild sunning; text block edges spotted; mild offset to the endpapers; previous owner's name in ink to the flyleaves. No dustwrappers. Very good. "Scott's legacy has been buffered to and fro like the Antarctic wind over the past 100 years. In the aftermath of his death, which was not known about back home for almost another year, he was hailed as a hero by a declining Empire desperately in need of one. In later years, he has been traduced as an incompetent, indecisive amateur. Somewhere between the two, a middle ground can be found, emphasising his team's scientific discoveries and the extreme conditions they faced, without either condemning or cheerleading. Regardless, it is difficult not to feel a small Edwardian lump rising at the back of your throat when you read one of the final diary entries: 'Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale.'" - Iain Hollingshead
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Scott, Captain R.F. (Herbert Ponting, illus.)
Scott's Last Expedition - Folio Society edition The Journals of Captain R.F. Scott
The Folio Society, London, 2009.
First printing: royal octavo; hardcover, full decorated cloth; 496pp., with a monochrome frontispiece schematics and 50pp. of plates likewise. Minor wear. Fine in mildly sunned slipcase. Scott's Last Expedition is the explorer's detailed account of his time in Antarctica. The team's daily progress towards their final goal is recorded in Scott's vivid, personal narrative, as well as his impressions of the harsh conditions, the stark beauty of the tundra, and his own increasingly desperate ambition to beat his rivals to the Pole. Shortly before he died, Scott wrote: "Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman." Robert Falcon Scott and his men died, but their story lives on in his journals.
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Severin, Timothy
The Oriental Adventure Explorers of the East
Angus & Robertson Publishers Pty. Ltd., Sydney NSW, 1978.
Quarto; hardcover, with silver-gilt spine-titling; 240pp., with many monochrome and colour illustrations. Minor wear; some minimal foxing. Price-clipped dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. A fascinating account of the procession of tenacious travellers who penetrated into Asia between the Thirteenth and early Twentieth Centuries to investigate the rumours of the fabulous East.
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Thesiger, Wilfred
Arabian Sands
Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1960.
Third impression. Octavo hardcover; beige boards with gilt spine titling; 326pp., monochrome photographic plates with map in rear pocket. Browning and mild scuffing to board edges with stain on lower rear panel edge; offsetting to endpapers, foxing to prelims with some scattered occasional spotting thereafter; browned and spotted text block edges with felt pen mark on lower edge; tear to lower edge of rear map pocket. Well-rubbed illustrated dustwrapper with some marks, scrapes and foxing; very small missing segment on upper rear edge and chipping to spine panel extremities and corners. Very good and wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing.
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Wilkinson, Alec
The Ice Balloon A.A. Andree and the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration
Alfred Knopf, New York, 2011.
Octavo; hardcover, quarter-bound in papered boards with silver-gilt spine titles; 239pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. In this grand and astonishing tale, Alec Wilkinson brings us the story of S. A. Andree, the visionary Swedish aeronaut who, in 1897, during the great age of Arctic endeavour, left to discover the North Pole by flying to it in a hydrogen balloon. Called by a British military officer - the most original and remarkable attempt ever made in Arctic exploration - Andree's expedition was followed by nearly the entire world, and it made him an international legend. "The Ice Balloon" begins in the late nineteenth century, when nations, compelled by vanity, commerce, and science, competed with one another for the greatest discoveries, and newspapers covered every journey. Wilkinson describes how in Andree several contemporary themes intersected. He was the first modern explorer: the first to depart for the Arctic unencumbered by notions of the Romantic age, and the first to be equipped with the newest technologies. No explorer had ever left with more uncertainty regarding his fate, since none had ever flown over the horizon and into the forbidding region of ice. In addition to portraying the period, "The Ice Balloon" gives us a brief history of the exploration of the northern polar regions, both myth and fact, including detailed versions of the two record-setting expeditions just prior to Andree's - one led by U.S. Army lieutenant Adolphus Greely from Ellesmere Island; the other by Fridtjof Nansen, the Norwegian explorer who initially sought to reach the pole by embedding his ship in the pack ice and drifting toward it with the current. Woven throughout is Andree's own history, and how he came by his brave and singular idea. We also get to know Andree's family, the woman who loves him, and the two men who accompany him - Nils Strindberg, a cousin of the famous playwright, with a tender love affair of his own, and Knut Fraenkel, a willing and hearty young man. Andree's flight and the journey, based on the expedition's diaries and photographs, dramatically recovered thirty-three years after the balloon came down, along with Wilkinson's research, provide a book filled with suspense and adventure, a haunting story of high ambition and courage, made tangible with the detail, beauty, and devastating conditions of travelling and dwelling in "the realm of Death," as one Arctic explorer put it.
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