First Edition of The Worst Journey in the World; Inscribed by the Author in Each Volume
The Worst Journey in the World.
Item Number: 33035
London: Constable & Company, 1922.
First edition of this classic memoir of the 1910–1913 British Antarctic Expedition. Octavo, two volumes, original half white cloth, gray paper boards. Inscribed by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in each each volume. First editions signed and inscribed are of exceptional rarity.
Apsley Cherry-Garrard served as assistant zoologist on Robert Scott’s tragic 1910-12 expedition to Antarctica. Dr. Wilson chose Bowers and Cherry-Garrard as his companions for a winter journey in 1911 to Cape Crozier to collect Emperor Penguin eggs. “On their return five weeks later Scott described their journey as ‘the hardest that has ever been made’—a phrase which later suggested to Cherry-Garrard the title of his narrative of the fortunes of the whole expedition: The Worst Journey in the World” (DNB). When at the base, Cherry-Garrard edited the camp newspaper, South Polar Times. The following summer he accompanied Scott’s polar party as far as the summit of the Beardmore Glacier, helping to establish supply and fuel depots. Scott arrived at the Pole only to find that a Norwegian team had beaten him there by a month. On the return journey, plagued by blizzards and illness, the sledge party perished near One Ton Depot, where their bodies and diaries were found eight months later by a search party that included Cherry-Garrard. “A very literate, detailed account of the expedition… one of the classics of Antarctic literature” (Conrad, 173). “The best written and most enduring account of exploits in the Antarctic” (Taurus 84). Illustrated with sketches made by Edward Wilson, the science officer of the expedition, who died returning from the pole with Scott; with photographs by expedition members Debenham and Wright; and with five maps (four folding). Rare first issue, in original half white cloth and paper-covered boards. Cherry-Garrard “insisted upon that white half-binding, since he wanted his book to look as handsome and as ‘Polar’ as possible… Only relatively few copies of the first edition were actually bound up… A second issue, bound in durable blue cloth, rapidly made its way onto the market” (Taurus 84). A drama documentary, also entitled The Worst Journey In The World, written by and starring Mark Gatiss, was broadcast on BBC Four in April 2007. It was also adapted by Stef Penney for the BBC as a two-part radio drama directed by Kate McAll in 2008.