The Worst Journey in the World. Antarctic 1910-1913
London Constable & Co. 1922.
First edition, two volumes, 8vo, untrimmed in publisher's original cloth-backed blue-grey boards, half-titles, 48 plates (6 colour, 10 folding panoramas), 5 maps (4 folding). Illustrated with sketches made by Edward Wilson, with photographs by expedition members Debenham and Wright. With additional spine labels. The Worst Journey in the World is Cherry-Garrard's memoir of Scott's ill-fated Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole in 1910–1913. It has earned wide praise for its frank treatment of the difficulties of the expedition, the causes of its disastrous outcome, and the meaning of human suffering under extreme conditions. The Worst Journey was actually that undertaken by Bowers, Wilson and Cherry-Garrard to collect three emperor penguin eggs in July 1911, which took 35 days. In the middle of the Antarctic winter, they had to survive intense blizzards and temperatures that plunged to –60C. It was pitch black and the three had to navigate by candlelight and the stars. They took turns falling into crevasses. Cherry's teeth chattered so violently that they shattered, while Wilson was blinded in one eye by a blob of boiling blubber from a camp stove. "The best written and most enduring account of exploits in the Antarctic" (Taurus 84). A near fine copy rarely found in this condition, boards slightly toned, paper spine labels browned and slightly chipped at one corner. Neat ink owner's initials to both front pastedowns.