SHACKLETON, Ernest H. (1874-1922). The Heart of the Antarctic. Being the story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909. [With:] The Antarctic Book. London: William Heinemann, 1909.
The deluxe first edition of Shackleton’s epic account of the voyage of the Nimrod, no. 29 of 300 copies signed by all the members of the shore party. “The most luxurious publication ever to have appeared during the ‘heroic age’ of Antarctic exploration” (Taurus). During the Nimrod expedition, Shackleton's team reached the south magnetic pole, ascended the volcano of Mt Erebus, printed the first book in Antarctica (Aurora Australis), and pushed South to within 97 miles of the South Pole. Famous for his strength under pressure and devotion to his team, Shackleton’s only comment to his wife on not reaching the South Pole was “a live donkey is better than a dead lion, isn't it?” This copy with the corrected (2nd state) of The Antarctic Book, with 16 signatures. Renard 1444; Rosove 305.A2; Spence 1096; Taurus 57.
3 volumes, quarto (269 x 225mm). Titles to vols 1 & 2 in brown and black; photogravure frontispieces, 6 etched plates by George Marston, 18 mounted color plates including 16 after George Marston, folding panorama and 3 folding lithographic maps in pocket at back of vol. 2, numerous black-and-white illustrations throughout (clean and bright). Volumes 1-2: original vellum, upper covers with gilt-stamped penguin, spines gilt-lettered, top edges gilt, others uncut; volume 3: original vellum-backed boards, spines gilt-lettered, top edges gilt, others uncut (corners of vol. 3 slightly bumped). Provenance E. Joseph Sawyer (London bookseller; invoice dated 1988) – Morton McMichael (bookplates, invoice dated 1988) – Parmer Books.