Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922)
Algernon Charles SWINBURNE. Poems and Ballads...new edition. London: Spottiswoode & Co. for Chatto & Windus, 1898. 8 (19 x 13cm.) One page advertisement at front, 32pp. catalogue at back dated January 1898. (Occasional very light spotting.) Original blue/green cloth gilt (extremities bumped, some fading and staining).
Provenance: Sir Ernest Shackleton (inscription in pencil on title 'EHS 1898', various ink and pencil underlinings and indicators); Lady Emily Shackleton.
AN IMPORTANT EARLY ASSOCIATION COPY, recalling the courtship of Sir Ernest and Lady Emily, and the early days of the British Antarctic Expedition. Shackleton took to Swinburne's poetry with enormous enthusiasm: in the present work he has marked his 11 favourite poems in ink on the contents leaf, and then marked or underlined passages within the poems in pencil). Swinburne was his favourite poet when he met his future wife: 'He had only a fortnight to pursue Miss [Emily] Dorman's acquaintance [in February 1898] before the ship sailed again, but he knew his mind, and on their visits to the British Museum and the National Gallery they talked more intimately than before. Like most people attracted to each other they exchanged favourite poets. Shackleton was immersed in Swinburne at this time - the rolling rhythms and sonorous words gave him great pleasure' (M. and J. Fisher Shackleton, London, 1957, p.12)
Shackleton's enthusiasm for Swinburne was still evident in 1901 when Edward Wilson recorded that on 28 August 1901, whilst on night watch on board the Discovery, Shackleton read The Leper to him (E. Wilson. Diary of the Discovery Expedition [London: 1966], p.43).