Zoology. 1845. Survey of the Voyage.

p. xii: Most especially does he find it incumbent on him here to return thanks to the Commanding Officer of the expedition (as is his first duty)… for the generous manner in which that officers’ private cabin and library were unreservedly placed at his disposal during the whole time the expedition was afloat.

p. 249, Ross at his farthest south on 23 February 1842: [Ross made] an entry into a small, red morocco-bound gilt-edged book entitled The Economy of Human Life. It was his second entry onto the book’s flyleaf. He had taken this tiny book, given to him by his sister Isabella, on the attempt at the North Pole. At the northernmost position, surrounded by the Arctic pack ice, he had penned: “Written on board the Endeavour in Latitude 82 3/4˚ 27th July, 1827. Jas. C. Ross.” [Hooker continues: Now, looking at the ice barrier that one day would bear his name, he wrote: “H.M. Ship Erebus 23rd of Feb. 1842 in Latitude 78˚ 10’ S. Jas. C. Ross.”… Both records, farthest north and farthest south??

Identifies a book which James Clark Ross had with him on both Arctic and Antarctic voyages and which he inscribed to so indicate. The book is The Economy of Human Life, 1808, variously attributed to Lord Chesterfield, Robert Dodsley (Johnson’s publisher), John Hill, or even unascribed as a volume from the library of the Grand Lama of Tartary. It is a small book of homilies on the conduct of life, often published; this copy first belonged to Isabella Ross, sister of James Clark Ross. He had it with him as first lieutenant to Captain Edward Parry in H.M.S. Hecla in the high Arctic when he inscribed it: “Written on board the Endeavour [a sledge boat detailed from the Hecla] in Latitude 82 3/4˚ N. 27th July, 1827. Jas. C. Ross.” (p. 355)

In the Ross Sea in 1842 when in command of a scientific exploring expedition, he again had the book and similarly inscribed it as follows: “H.M. Ship Erebus 23rd of Feb. 1842 in Latitude 78˚ 10’ S. Jas. C. Ross.”

Until then no one could have claimed the distinction of coming nearest to both Poles, and this record was not surpassed until in the twentieth century Roald Amundsen and R. E. Byrd reached both Poles in turn, but, unless they or one of them signed both records in one book, our little red volume remains unique. (p 356).