GRAN, Tryggve (1888-1980). Two autograph manuscript journals of the 1910-1913 British Antarctic Expedition, Terra Nova, Simon’s Town and Cape Evans, 1 June 1910 – 23 December 1913.
In Norwegian and occasionally English, comprising:
Autograph manuscript journal, 1 June – 2 September 1910, covering the period from Terra Nova’s departure from London until her arrival in Simon’s Town, the entries in a T.J. & J. Smith’s Post Quarto One Day Diary for 1910 (London: n.d). Approx. 92 pages (pp.152-242, 245), 235 x 192mm, the pages for 31 August and 1 September torn out, otherwise complete. Blue-green cloth binding (somewhat worn, spine split); a group of newspaper cuttings and a note in English in another hand on chronometers and altitudes in 1902 loosely inserted;
Autograph manuscript journal, 15 November 1911 – 23 December 1913, with entries for 15 November – 6 December 1911, describing the first part of the Summer Journey to Granite Harbour – entitled ‘Sommerfarden 1911-1912’ – apparently transcribed from a sledging diary and incomplete, with the date for 7 December but lacking any entry (pp.1-2); further entries for 1-3 February 1912 (pp.24-25) and 24 February – 28 October (pp.37-178), describing the return to Cape Evans after the Summer Journey, the vain wait for Scott’s polar party, the polar winter and the period just before the expedition’s departure to search for the polar party, the pages for 6-7 and 23-25 September left blank, a map of Ross Island drawn on p.165 (5 October), list of stores to be carried by the pony Lal Khan (in English in another hand) tipped in between pages 166 and 167 (7-8 October); further entries for 19-23 December (pp.208-210), relaxing at Cape Evans around Midsummers Day; and transcripts by Gran (in English) of ‘Ration for Southern Journey 1911-12’ and of [Edward L.] Atkinson’s journal of the Southern Journey, 31 October – 24 December 1911 (pp.228-235), the entries in a New Zealand Commercial Diary No.21 for 1912 (Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd. Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin etc, n.d.). Approx. 132 pages, 258 x 206mm. Cloth-backed boards (rather worn and soiled).
Provenance: by direct descent from Tryggve Gran.
Tryggve Gran’s manuscript journals, largely unpublished, from the British Antarctic Expedition, which he used to compose his published Antarctic diary: Gran drew selectively on these (and other, now unlocated) journals for publication – notably suppressing passages of a personal or overtly critical nature – as such, the present journals include substantial unknown material on the expedition. The young Norwegian Tryggve Gran was recruited by Scott as a skiing expert for the Terra Nova expedition on the recommendation of the explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen: he would go on to play a valuable role in the second geological expedition (November 1911-February 1912), which collected data in the Granite Harbour region before becoming stranded by the ice, necessitating a trek southwards to their rescue. Later that year, on 29 October 1912, Gran was part of the 11-man search team that set off from Cape Evans in search of the polar party; they found the tent containing the frozen bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers on 12 November. After they retrieved their personal effects and records, Gran used his own pair of skis to fashion a cross, raised above the snow cairn built to cover the bodies of the ill-fated polar party, before returning to camp on Scott’s skis, reasoning that at least his expedition leader’s skis would finish their journey. In December 1912, before leaving Antarctica, Gran he made an ascent of Mount Erebus with Raymond Priestley and Frederick Hooper, and was lucky to escape with his life after an unexpected eruption set off an avalanche of the surrounding pumice stone. Gran won the Polar Medal for his endeavours in Antarctica.