[From ABEBooks description] Shackleton’s narrative of the "Nimrod" voyage and expedition of 1907-1909 is not only one of the classics of Polar exploration, but a great read in its own right. Shackleton had three goals for the mission and divided the company into three groups: one would set out to reach the Pole, another to plant a flag at the South Magnetic Pole, and the third to explore the Ross Barrier. This ambitious program was kept faithfully in the foreground, and although it was not possible to fulfill every detail of it, the mission is regarded as a triumphant success. "Men go out into the void spaces of the world for various reasons. Some are incited simply by a love of adventure, some have a keen thirst for scientific knowledge, and others are drawn away from trodden paths by the ‘lure of little voices,’ the mysterious fascination of the unknown. I think that in my own case it was a combination of these factors that determined me to try my fortune once again in the frozen south.
“The DISCOVERY expedition [1901-1903] had brought back a great store of information, and had performed splendid service in several important branches of science. I believed that a second expedition could carry the work still further.” Shackleton although he never reached the geographic south pole, only the magnetic pole, did lay the foundation for the future successful expeditions to do so by Amundsen and Scott and returned to the Pole some years later and attempted to traverse the entire Antarctic continent on land and failed and this failure led to the exciting adventures in his book South and a famous documentary and was the 1st great scientific expedition to be filmed on 16 mm, basis of a fabulous movie made for PBS starring Kenneth Branagh.]
p. 57-58: January 13 brought with it a gentle breeze from the eastward, the heavy leaden sky broke into blue, ﬂecked with light cirrus clouds, and the day seemed warmer and more pleasant than any we had experienced since we left Lyttelton, though the temperature of the air and sea water were down to 341° and 37° Fahr. respectively. The warm sun tempted those who had not before been much in evidence on to the poop deck, and the whole vessel began to look like a veritable Petticoat Lane. Blankets, coats, boots, bags that might once have been leather but which now looked like lumps of dilapidated brown paper; pyjamas that had been intended to be worn when the owners ﬁrst came aboard the Nimrod; books that had parted with their covers after sundry adventures
in dripping Oyster Alley, but whose leaves evinced the strongest disinclination to separate; pillows of pulp that had once been pillows of feathers; carpet slippers, now merely bits of carpet; in short, all the personal belong ings of each member of the expedition, including their
most sacred Penates and Lares, were lying in a heterogeneous mass on the poop deck, in order that they might dry. A few of us ventured on baths, but it was chilly work in the open air, with the temperature only two degrees above freezing-point.
p. 127-28, when supplies had to be recovered from the ice: After about four days’ hard work at the Front Door Bay landing-place, the bulk of the stores was recovered, and I think we may say that there was not much lost permanently, though, as time went on, and one or two cases that were required did not turn up, we used to wonder whether they had been left on board the ship, or were buried under the ice. We do know for certain that our only case of beer lies to this day under the ice, and it was not until a few days before our ﬁnal dug out some volumes of the Challenger reports, which had been intended to provide us with useful reading-matter during the winter nights. A question often debated during the long, dark days was which of these stray sheep, the Challenger reports or the case of beer, any particular individual would dig for if the time and opportunity were available.
p. 212: Joyce, Wild, Marston and Day during the winter months spent much time in the production of the ‘Aurora Australis,’ the first book ever written, printed, illustrated and bound in the Antarctic. Through the generosity of Messrs. Joseph Causton and Sons, Limited, we had been provided with a complete printing outfit and the necessary paper for the book, and Joyce and Wild had been given instruction in the art of type-setting and printing, Marston being taught etching and lithography. They had hardly become skilled craftsmen, but they had gained a good working knowledge of the branches of the business. When we had settled down in the winter quarters [the Hut], Joyce and Wild set up the little hand-press and sorted out the type, these preliminary operations taking up all their spare time for some days, and then they started to set and print the various contributions that were sent in by members of the expedition. The early days of the printing department were not exactly happy, for the two amateur type-setters found themselves making many mistakes, and when they had at last ‘set-up’ a page, made all the necessary corrections, and printed off the necessary required number of copies, they had to undertake the laborious work of ‘dissing,’ that is distributing the type again. They plodded ahead steadily, however, and soon became more skilful, until at the end of a fortnight or three weeks they could print two pages in a day. A lamp had to be placed under the type-rack to keep it warm, and a lighted candle was put under the inking-plate, so that the ink would keep reasonably thin in consistency. The great trouble experienced by the printers at first was in securing the right pressure on the printing-plate and even inking of the page, but experience showed them where they had been at fault. Day meanwhile prepared the binding by cleaning, planning, and polishing wood taken from the Venesta cases in which our provisions were packed. Marston reproduced the illustrations by algraphy, or printing from aluminum plates. He had not got a proper lithographic press, so had to use an ordinary etching press, and he was handicapped by the fact that all our water had a trace of salt in it. This mineral acted on the sensitive plates, but Marston managed to produce what we all regarded as creditable pictures. In its final form the book had about one hundred and twenty pages, and it had at least assisted materially to guard us from the danger of lack of occupation during the polar night.
op. p. 218—a picture of the printing press, as well as a room at the Hut with a shelf of books. There is a photo of their phonograph apparatus op. p. 204.
p. 266, during a lull after a blizzard: in our one-man sleeping-bags each of us has a little home, where he can read and write and look at the Penates and Lares brought with him. I read Much Ado About Nothing during the morning. The surface of the Barrier is better, for the wind has blown away a great deal of the soft snow, and we will, I trust, be able to see any crevasses before we are on to them. This is our fourth day out from Hut Point, and we are only twenty miles south.
p. 268: On the days on which we are held up by weather we read, and I can only trust that these days may not be many. I am just ﬁnishing reading The Taming of the Shrew. I have Shakespeare’s Comedies, Marshall has Borrow’s “The Bible in Spain,” Adams has Arthur Young’s “Travels in France,” and Wild has “Sketches by Boz.” When we have ﬁnished we will change round. Our allowance of tobacco is very limited, and on days like these it disappears rapidly, for our anxious minds are relieved somewhat by a smoke. In order to economise my cigarettes, which are my luxury, I whittled out a holder from a bit of bamboo to-day, and so get a longer smoke, and also avoid the paper sticking to my lips, which have begun to crack already from the hot metal pot and the cold air.
p. 28: Joyce devoted what spare time he could find to the completion of the volumes of the “Aurora Australis.” Practice had made him more skilful in the handling of type, and he was able to make a good deal of progress, Day assisting with the preparation of the Venesta boards in which the volumes were to be bound. Some of the contributions towards the literary part of the work had come in late, so that there was plenty of work left to do. Marston went on with the lithographing for the illustrations.
p. 31: There are many minerals in the far north, and mining diilicultles
are not greater than in Alaslca, while transportation is easier and
Now, what has been done to secure these resources for future
Americans? Canada has quietly spent more than a million dollars to
file claims on everything’ reachable, because her statesmcn have realized that all lands sooner or later become valuable.
The claim by right of discovery gives a nation the ﬁrst call upon new lands, but that claims goes by default unless supplementary steps are taken.
Why, may I ask, have we closed our eyes as a Nation, to the dis-
coveries of the American explorers?
American fishermen have used Hudson Bay for 100 years. This bay is the most wonderful inland sea of the world. Its marine life will
feed millions during ages to follow. Canada has closed the door of
Hudson Straits to our seamen. Here is a problem for immediate adjustment. These pioneer fishermen were explorers; their rights cry
American sailors explored the uttermost reaches of the Antarctic
before other nations woke up to the possihilitics of the far south. A
proper protection of their claims would have given us hundreds of
islands and a valuable coastline with harbors and mines and
undreamed of industries. These islands will at some time become the
best fur farms of the entire world, but not a voice has been raised by
our statesmen to protect the discoveries of these brave explorers.
Our forefathers, with a worthy pride. recorded the splendid pioneer
efforts of Admiral Wilkes in the frozen south. He discovered a new
continent and explored islands and seas about the South Pole. Fifty
years later by one stroke of the pen a certain British armchair eographer, in the Encyclopædia Britannica and on the maps of the
world, took American honors and American claims from the Antarctic
Continent. This was officially done by the map makers of Europe. To
this sacrifice of American prestage [sic], to this insult upon the flag there has been silence in Washington. Why?
The geograpliic historian, Edwin Swift Batch, called a halt upon
this kind of national insult (Antarctica, by Edwin Swift Balch), but
to the present, although the discoveries of Wilkes have been verified by the Australian expedition, no official action has been taken to guard the honor of Antarctic pioneers.
In the Arctic there is a long list of worthy achievement, which with
inconceivable indifference, has been given official absent treatment.
American fishermen have always been pioneers in the north; they
needed harbors and boating and land facilities. They require some
assistance to determine the position and extent of submarine banks, and they require some enlightenment on the food and propagation of
submarine life. Other nations here gave much assistance to their
marine explorers, but what have we done?
The discoveries of Drs. Schwatka, Kane, Hays, and Bessell are lost
among old books under dusty shelves. The works of Wellman, Baldwin,
and Fiala is lost in the ungracious controversy of rival newspaper publicity.
p. 38: Only ﬁve men-—Murray, Joyce, Day, Marston and Roberts—were now at the winter quarters. The heat of the Antarctic summer being at its height, the snow-drifts were melting rapidly, and the trickling of running water was everywhere to be heard. A large drift remained on the hill behind the hut, leading up to Mawson’s anemometer. On December 1 it was melting in several little trickles, and next day it was found that one of these had got under the hut and made a pool about a foot in depth at the lower end. Many valuable things were stored under the hut, and the only opening was occupied by the pool of water. A hole had to be
made at one side of the house, where the ground was higher, and into this Joyce crawled and spent some hours wriggling about in a space hardly more than one foot in height, rescuing valuable boxes of printing
material and printed matter.
[There was a limited edition of Heart of the Antarctic, in 300 copies, with an added third volume with additional materials and often signed by the officers of the expedition. Columbia Univ. Library has a copy in the Libris Polaris collection of Bassett Jones, signed by Priestley, Wild, Joyce, Marston, Mackay, Day, Brocklehurst, B…?, Marshall, Mackintosh, Armitage, Roberts, Murray, David, and Mawson, and which has the following inscriptions on the half title:
I got you this sort of vellum copy of Shackleton’s great book chiefly because I was able to secure a uniformly bound copy of the Antarctic Book carrying Shackleton’s autograph and those of his staff.
I suggest you get Priestly [to sign] the Heart of the Antarctic for you too, and others of Shackleton’s men as you gradually get to know them. Vilhjamur Stefansson September 27 1930 A.J.T.Taylor
Dear Bassett Jones: It turned out that Taylor had a copy so I am delighted to pass this on to you. Vilhjalmur Stefansson February 26 1931. Probably one of the polar titles Stefansson sold to Jones around that time.]