23 September 2004
PROPERTY FROM THE SHACKLETON COLLECTION
SIR ERNEST HENRY SHACKLETON (1874-1922)
Two autograph letters signed ('Devil' and 'Micky') to Lady (Emily) Shackleton ('darling Sweeteyes'), on board the Cunard R.M.S. Mauretania and n.p., 26 March 1921 and n.d., together 5 pages, 4to and 8vo; envelope.
Shackleton writes on board the Mauretania in the midst of preparations for the Quest expedition: 'I was sorry the line was bad this morning'; the line to [John Quiller] Rowett's house was bad too -- 'they told me afterwards that the exchange is the worst in the Kingdom!'. Shackleton has had a 'bad night continually on the run all due to the cider[?]'. 'It was a nice peaceful time at home yesterday ... I hope to be back soon, indeed I must be if I am to get ready in time ... I want a rest'. the second letter communicates arrangements for a lecture ('I have told Frank'), and corrects a money transfer; the postscript is 'No Russian news'.
The letter of March 1921 is written en route to Ottawa, at the stage when Shackleton believed the Canadian Government was willing to sponsor an Arctic expedition on the Quest; in the end it was Rowett who provided the majority of the funding.
BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION, 1907-1909. C. ARTHUR PEARSON LTD. (publishers). Pearson's Magazine. Published Monthly. London: Horace Cox for C. Arthur Pearson Ltd., October 1909, the second part (only) of 'Lieutenant Shackleton's Own Story. Nearest the South Pole. Part II - 97 miles from the Pole', pp.346-367, the upper cover with portraits of Shackleton. Conrad p.147.
six other magazines and pamphlets comprising 'Soldiers Three' by Rudyard Kipling, A.H. Wheeler & Co's Indian Railway Library, No. 1, London: 1914; three copies of 'If -' by Rudyard Kipling, London: 1914; 'The Book of the Quest'; and 'The London Magazine', January, 1908, XIX, No.113, missing upper cover
Shackleton's first, abridged account of the British Antarctic Expedition ran in three parts in Pearson's Magazine, nos.165-167, September-November 1909, publicising the expedition ahead of the publication of Shackleton's The Heart of the Antarctic in late 1909. Kipling was one of Shackleton's favourite poets, and his commonplace book of 1898 included quotations from his writings. Shackleton would meet Kipling briefly in 1900 on the troopship Tintagel Castle at Cape Town. Four lines from 'If-' were pinned up in Shackleton's cabin on the Endurance and were carried with him on the boat journey. 'Shackleton carried printed copies of Kipling's 'If'... to give to likely souls' (Piggott). (9)
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