Norwegian North Polar Expedition, 1893-1896
Fridtjof NANSEN (1861-1930, editor). The Norwegian North Polar Expedition 1893-1896 Scientific Results. Oslo, London, New York, Bombay and Leipzig: Jaacob Dybwad and others, 1900-1905. 6 volumes, large 4° (288 x 223mm). Numerous plates, plans, charts and maps, some coloured, some folding, uncut and largely unopened. Original wrappers (lightly soiled, labels removed from spines). Provenance: Hofbibliothek Donaueschingen (ink stamp to titles).
A fine complete set of the scientific results of the 'most brilliantly conceived and courageously executed expedition in Arctic history' (D.Mountfield A History of Polar Exploration p.132) The individual volumes include sections on the construction of the Fram and Arctic geology, biology, ornithology, zoology, astronomy, terrestrial magnetism, oceanography and meteorology.
With the enthusiastic backing of the Norwegian government and private interests, Nansen's expedition sailed north aboard the Fram in 1892. The ship had been specially designed and built to survive the crushing pressures of the ice pack by rising above the floes rather than being crushed between them: Nansen's plan was to sail to the North Siberian Islands, push as far north as he could get before allowing the ship to be held fast in the ice. They would then allow the drifting ice to to carry the ship onward, eventually emerging north of Spitzbergen. Frozen in to the ice on 25 September 1893 just north of 78° latitude, the Fram drifted on the ice for thirty-five months, emerging intact in June 1896. Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen left the ship in mid-March 1895 planning to travel north by sledge and ski for fifty days, and then turn south. By the second week in April they had reached 86°13'North (160 miles further North than any man had been before) but their progress was so slow that Nansen decided to begin the return journey. They finally reached land by the end of July but were forced to over-winter before making their way south to Franz Josef Land where Nansen encountered Frederick Jackson on 16 June 1896. Arctic Bibliography II.12004. (6)