SIR ERNEST HENRY SHACKLETON (1874-1922)
The Heart of the Antarctic being the story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 by E.H. Shackleton ... with an introduction by Hugh Robert Mill ... an account of the first journey to the Magnetic South Pole by Professor T.W. Edgeworth David. London: Ballantyne & Co. Limited for William Heinemann, 1909. 3 volumes (including the supplement The Antarctic Book Winter Quarters), 4° (265 x 223mm.). Half-titles. Titles (to vols I & II) in brown and black. Plates (a few double-page, some mounted including 16 coloured after George Marston, some etched), 1 folding panorama and 3 folding lithographic maps printed in three colours in pocket at back of vol.II, illustrations. Original vellum (vols I & II) and vellum-backed boards (supplement), covers of vols. I & II blocked in gilt with the two penguins device, spines of all three volumes lettered in gilt, t.e.g.
A FINE COMPLETE SET OF THE LIMITED EDITION, NUMBER 243 OF 300 COPIES, WITH THE SIGNATURES OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE SHORE PARTY ON TWO PAGES IN THE 'SUPPLEMENT'. 'At the end of March , when Shackleton had reached New Zealand from the Antarctic, he knew only too well that the book of the expedition would have to be written in a rush ... To meet his deadline ... Shackleton needed an amanuensis. Edward Saunders, a reporter on the Lyttelton Times, at Christchurch, was recommended; by Sir Joseph Ward, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, no less. Shackleton asked Saunders to travel with him to England and work for £10 a week, all expenses, and return passage paid. Saunders jumped at the offer ... [He] was not an ordinary ghost writer, however. ...he was a Boswell looking for a Johnson ...
If I said that any chapter was simply my transcription of notes taken down from Shackleton's dictation, I should be telling an untruth [Saunders explained later]. If I said that any chapter was entirely mine, I should be telling an untruth. My work was complementary to his. I could say that Shackleton had a remarkable gift of literary suggestion ... and that when his interest was stirred at critical portions of his narrative, he had a command of vivid forceful English. Shackleton and I understood each other thoroughly.
As a result, The Heart of the Antarctic ... bore none of the tell-tale stiltedness of most ghosted work. The book appeared early in November, an unprecedentedly quick five months after putting pen to paper ... Shackleton wanted Saunders' name on the title page, but Saunders refused. The book, as he afterwards said, "should stand without any attempt being made to explain just how [it was] produced"' (R. Huntford, Shackleton, London: 1996, pp.317-319).
Conrad p.148; Rosove 305.A2 ('Scarce'); Spence 1096; Taurus 57. (3)