Through the First Antarctic Night. 1898-1899
A Narrative of the Voyage of the “Belgica” among Newly Discovered Lands and over an Unknown Sea about the South Pole.
By Cook, Frederick A., M.D.
New York, Doubleday and McClure, 1900. First US Edition. Thick Octavo. [xxiv], 478pp.Appendix I, II, III, IV, V, & VI; Index. Over a Hundred Illustrations and maps on plates and in text. Publisherâ€™s blue decorative pictorial cloth in excellent condition, gilt titling on spine. Colour frontispiece with tissue guard, hinges strong, Oak Lawn Library Stamp on title page. A Near Fine copy of a most important Antarctic narrative.
Conrad p. 85, Spence 311. Rosove 76.A.2
Frederick Cook served as expedition surgeon and anthropologist for the Belgian Antarctic Expedition on the â€śBelgicaâ€ť under Adrien de Gelache. Having sailed from the South Shetlands and discovering the strait that separated Palmer Archipelago from the Mainland, the â€śBelgicaâ€ť was caught in the ice in the Bellingshausen Sea and thus unintentionally became the first expedition to winter in the Antarctic. Among the crew was the young Roald Amundsen, on his first polar expedition, during which he took part in the first Antarctic sledging journey.
Roald Amundsen said of Cook: â€śHe, of all the shipâ€™s company, was the one man of unfaltering courage, unfailing hope, endless cheerfulness, and unwearied kindness. When anyone was sick, he was at his bedside to comfort him; when any was disheartened, he was there to encourage and inspire. And not only was his faith undaunted, but his integrity and enterprise were boundlessâ€ť. My Life as an Explorer. Michael Rosove states: â€śHis narrative is certainly one of the finest and most interesting from any Antarctic expedition . . . Cook captured the mood, both in the Antarctic seascape and in menâ€™s hearts and minds, of summer dying into autumn, and of mankindâ€™s first entry into a south polar winter beyond the Antarctic Circleâ€ť. Freestanding Antarctic Bibliography, Michael Rosove p.88. A very well written, documented and important first person narrative related to Antarctic exploration.