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° (268 x 218mm). Half-titles. Titles (to vols I & II) in brown and black. Plates (4 double-page, 6 etched plates by George Marston, 18 mounted including 16 coloured after George Marston), 1 folding panorama and 3 folding lithographic maps in pocket at back of vol.II, illustrations. (Occasional light spotting.) 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. (light soiling, splits to joints of vols I & II, some staining to covers of supplement). Provenance: Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (presentation inscription to:)--Captain Blomfield ('To Captain Blomfield in remembrance of his many kindnesses to the author E.H. Shackleton. April 1911.')
Sir Ernest Henry SHACKLETON. Autograph letter signed ('Ernest Shackleton') to 'Dear Captain Blomfield', '9 Regent St. London S.W.', [envelope postmarked 25 December 1910], apologising for a mistake, possibly mistaking Captain Blomfield for a Royal Navy officer, as Shackleton continues: 'We are both "Red Ensign" men more power to it!', thanking him for his offer of assistance 'You have always been most kind to us: Lady Shackleton joins me in wishing you a good New Year'. 2pp., 8vo, with associated envelope.
A FINE PRESENTATION COPY OF THE LIMITED EDITION, NUMBER 295 OF 300 COPIES, this copy with the corrected (2nd state) of the 'Supplement', with 16 signatures (Mackintosh and the 15 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; Renard 1446; Rosove 305.A2; Spence 1096; Taurus 57. (4)