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Nearest the Pole. A Narrative of the Polar Expedition of the Peary Arctic Club in the S. S. Roosevelt, 1905-1906.
New York: Doubleday & Company, April 1907 - Large octavo. Original green cloth, titles gilt to spine, emblaem to front in red white and gilt, top edge gilt. Rubbing to ends and corners but a smart copy, rear hinge cracked, otherwise internally fresh, a very good copy indeed. Coloured frontispiece and 32 black and white photographic plates, folding coloured map at the rear. First edition, inscribed by Peary on the title page "yours sincerely, R. E. Peary, U.S.N." Also includes, tipped in to front free endpaper, a typed letter signed (dated 14 May 1907) by Peary, and another signed clipping from a typed letter, both addressed to the owner of this book, W. D. Vincent (his illustrated bookplate to front pastedown). William D. Vincent (1866-1935) was a book collector and amateur historian interested in Pacific Northwest History. Professionally he was a banker in Spokane, Washington. Vincent's papers are held at Washington State University. He has also tipped in facing the half title a typed letter signed from James Cool dated 25 February 1898, observing that "you are personally acquainted with Lieut. Peary, U.S.N. who is to deliver a lecture under the auspices of the Young Men's Fraternity of the M.E. Church of this city [Spokane, Washington], in the First M. E. Church, Monday night March 7th [1898]", and asking "you to introduce Lieut. Peary to the audience on that evening." Vincent has also tipped in his typed notes, with manuscript corrections, for that speech: "Within the past year, you all know that Norway has gained the honor long held by our country, that of having reached fartherest North. There is with us tonight an American who has experienced all the terrors of the Artic, one whose plan and perseverance will meet with success, one who will carry the stars and stripes farther North than the flag of Norway has been carried." The Norwegians in question who in 1895 had reached the "fartherest North" were of course Fridtjof Nansen and Fredrik Hjalmar Johansen. "In his continuing assault on the North Pole, Peary had to keep raising funds by any means, including lobbying, lecturing, and publishing books such as this as [his] justification of further attempts. Combined with the financial support of the Peary Antarctic Club and the personal enthusiasm of President Theodore Roosevelt, the 1905-06 expedition was notable for a number of factors, although unsuccessful in its ultimate goal." (Books on Ice 5.10). Peary was eventually to reach the Pole (though his claim is now disputed, it was accepted at the time) in 1909. A highly compelling copy, with documentary material emblematic of Peary's continued endeavours. [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2016-10-03           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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