First Edition of The Crossing of Antarctica; Inscribed by Sir Vivian Fuchs to fellow Explorer Paul Siple

  • The Crossing of Antarctica: The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1955-58.

The Crossing of Antarctica: The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1955-58.

Item Number: 57020

London: Cassel & Company, 1958.

First British edition of the story of the Transatlantic Expedition of Antarctica. Octavo, original cloth, cartographic endpapers, illustrated. Inscribed by Sir Vivian Fuchs on the half-title page, “To Paul Siple, Sorry I missed you at the Pole! Bunny Fuchs _______ 1958.” Stamped on the front pastedown “From the Library of Paul A. Siple.” The recipient Paul Siple was an American Antarctic explorer and geographer who took part in six Antarctic expeditions, including the two Byrd expeditions of 1928–1930 and 1933–1935. His first and third books covered these adventures. With Charles F. Passel he developed the wind chill factor, and Siple coined the term. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. An outstanding association copy.

The 1955–58 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (CTAE) was a Commonwealth-sponsored expedition that successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica, via the South Pole. It was the first expedition to reach the South Pole overland for 46 years, preceded only by Amundsen's and Scott's respective parties in 1911 and 1912. In keeping with the tradition of polar expeditions of the "heroic age" the CTAE was a private venture, though it was supported by the governments of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, United States, Australia and South Africa, as well as many corporate and individual donations, under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth II. It was headed by British explorer Dr Vivian Fuchs, with New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary leading the New Zealand Ross Sea Support team. The New Zealand party included scientists participating in International Geophysical Year (IGY) research while the UK IGY team were separately based at Halley Bay. Fuchs was knighted for his accomplishment. The second overland crossing of the continent did not occur until 1981, during the Transglobe Expedition led by Ranulph Fiennes.