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Shackleton’s South Polar Times the star lot of February 18 sale


A rare copy of Ernest Shackleton’s South Polar Times is on offer at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury, with a valuation of £6,000-8,000 ($8,752-11,670).
The lot will cross the block in a February 18 auction.

Published in three volumes between 1907 and 1914, the collection is made up of essays, poems, short stories and illustrations produced by members of Shackleton and Scott’s expeditions to the South Pole between 1902 and 1912.  

A single copy of each newspaper was printed while the team was holed up in their cabin, waiting for the end of winter.

The fierce conditions of the Antarctic made travel impossible during the five months of the year between February and August,  until the ice had thawed somewhat and the weather improved.

As Shackleton explains in the editorial: “I look out of the door and see a wide white world of snow and ice…

“One thing is essential for the success of this paper, the cooperation of all its readers and contributors…

“When the coming hundred days of darkness are over, we may look back upon them as having been not only tolerable but happy.”

The publication is the first newspaper ever published in Antarctica.

The present lot is the first edition, printed in a run of 250 copies (this is number 126), and is in good condition.

A book, titled Aurora Australis and bound in packing crates, was also produced during the Nimrod Expedition (1907-1908).


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