Home » Browse » Autumn Catalogue 2015 » PRIESTLEY, Raymond E. - Antarctic Adventure. Scott’s Northern Party.
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Antarctic Adventure. Scott’s Northern Party.

Published: London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1914

Stock code: 102814

Price: £1,250

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First edition, first impression. Priestley served with Shackleton on his 1907-09 expedition, contributing the geological sections to The Heart of the Antarctic, and returning with Scott to Antarctica as a geologist in 1910-13. “He joined the northern party under Victor Campbell. After spending 1911 at Cape Adare the six-man party was landed 200 miles further south for summer fieldwork with provisions for eight weeks. The ship was stopped by pack-ice from returning and the epic story of how the party survived and then sledged 250 miles to the main party early in the following summer is told [in the present work]. They survived the fierce winds by digging a cave in a snowdrift. A line across the middle of the 12 foot by 9 foot floor separated the wardroom from the mess deck of three petty officers. By agreement, nothing said on one side of the line could be ‘heard’ or answered by those on the other side. Priestley considered this splendid training for dealing with unreasonable, irascible professors in later life without loss of temper. His responsibility for the commissariat in the ice cave in these circumstances shows an early reputation for fairness and reliability” (ODNB). Priestley served in the RE Signals Section during the First World War, and thereafter pursued a career in academic administration in England, Australia and the West Indies. This is a difficult book to find in collectable condition: Spence relates that a large part of the print-run was destroyed in a warehouse fire.

Octavo. Original blue cloth with title and pictorial vignettes in silver to spine and front board, top edge gilt, the others uncut. Frontispiece and 97 other plates, three folding maps. Silver oxidised as usual, free endpapers browned, some foxing, prize bookplate for The Thomas Morgan Memorial Essay Prize for 1916 to the front pastedown, but remains a very good copy.

Bibliography: Howgego S13 & S20; Spence 939; Taurus 80

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