The First Crossing of Greenland
By Nansen, Fridtjof
London: Longmans, Green & Co. 1890 – First UK Edition. 2 volumes, 8vo – 22.7cm. Vol. I: [xxii], 510pp. frontispiece of Nansen with tissue guard plus five full-page plates, numerous woodcuts, 3 fold-out maps; 24 pages ads at end. Vol II: [x], 509pp, frontispiece with tissue guard plus three full-page photographic plates, Appendix, Index, numerous woodcut illustrations. Publisherâ€™s original green cloth with bright silver titles and images on front cover and spine, some consistent sun lightening to spines, some scattered foxing, publisherâ€™s green cloth with silver lettering and silver pictorial vignettes to covers and spines, some maps with earlier professional close-separation repairs. In Very Good and complete condition. Scarce. Arctic Bibliography 11985
Narrative of the expedition of Fridtjof Nansen and Otto Sverdrip with four companions to East Greenland with the objective of crossing the Greenland ice — a feat never before achieved. The book contains descriptions of the equipment, the voyage from Norway via Iceland to Umivik, the East Greenland coast and its ice belt, previous attempts to penetrate the ice belt and this expeditionâ€™s drift there, a detailed account of the expeditionâ€™s crossing of the inland ice, Umivik-Godthaab, on skis, Aug.-Sept. 1888; the wintering at Godthaab 1888-89, with observations on Eskimo life, and a chapter on skiing. The numerous illustrations of the expeditionâ€™s activities, personnel, equipment, the natives, landscape, etc. are based on photographs and sketches by Nansen.
Nansen succeeded in traversing the previously unchartered interior of Greenland forcing a passage through the floe-belt, land on the desolate and ice-bound east coast and thence cross over to the inhabited west coast. A feat he aptly summed up as “death or the west coast of Greenland.” This first-person narrative is a very well documented account.