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  • Capsize! – A Story of Survival in the North Atlantic – Nicolas Angel

    Capsize! – A Story of Survival in the North Atlantic – Nicolas Angel

    A first English edition published by Norton, New York and London in 1980. Published the prior year in French.

    Octavo, 176 pages nicely illustrated from photographs with charts etc.

    The trimaran RTL-Timex capsized in a storm sailing from Bermuda to New York. The crew, under skipper Alan Gilksman, made the raft and a frantic nine days of gales and high seas ensued. Several ships missed them before they were finally recovered … just in time for some crew members who almost perished.

    Frightening North Atlantic Experience .. impossible to put down


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  • Mon Expedition au Sud Polaire –  Sir Ernest Shackleton – Translated from “South”‘ by Landel – First French Edition 1920

    Mon Expedition au Sud Polaire – Sir Ernest Shackleton – Translated from “South”‘ by Landel – First French Edition 1920

    The French edition of “South” … The story of Shackleton’s Expedition (The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914 – 1917).

    A very good copy of the first edition published by Alfred Mame et Fils, Tours, France.

    Folio, 384 pages with folding map and 77 illustrations mainly from expedition photographs. Beautifully bound with vivid stamped front cover. All edges richly gilt. Corners bit bumped and hinge a little cracked, still a lovely example. A substantial book 1.6kgs.

    Shackleton believed that after Amundsen’s conquest of the South Pole in 1911 the “one great main object of Antarctic journeyings” was to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. He sent the Aurora to the Ross Sea under Mackintosh and took the Endurance to the Weddell Sea. Before they could reach Vahsel Bay they became entrapped in ice and drifted with it throughout the winter of 1915. Eventually the ship gave way and was crushed and sank, Mon Expedition au Sud Polaire contains photographs of its gradual demise. Stranded on the ice they took to the lifeboats and made inhospitable Elephant Island. Shackleton and five men then made a 1,287km journey in the James Caird to reach South Georgia eventually mounting a rescue mission for the men left behind. The Ross Sea party also had difficulties and three men lost their lives.

    Special French Edition of Shackleton’s South … what way to improve your language skills!


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  • Heroes of the Polar Seas – J Kennedy Maclean – First edition 1910

    Heroes of the Polar Seas – J Kennedy Maclean – First edition 1910

    Title continues … A Record of Exploration in the Arctic and Antarctic Seas by J Kennedy Maclean. Thick octavo, 382 pages. Magnificent pictorial boards, rich gilt to all page edges, well illustrated and with two excellent fold out maps of the top and the bottom with swathes unexplored areas.

    The pictorial boards may give the impression this was for a younger audience. The quality of the content and writing suggest the market was father and son. Very good condition, prize label “Madras College”.

    Written chronologically with an introduction of “Gains and losses of Polar Enterprise” before the “Pioneers”. The search for the North-west passage and Franklin and much about his horrors. Nares and then the fatal “Jannette” an incredible story often lost in these accounts. The discovery of Franz Josef Land and the North-east Passage by Nordenskiold (see or commemorative medal). Nansen followed by Andree’s Balloon attempt (see our second printing and commemorative medal). Peary and the success of the North Pole after twenty years … and Cook.

    In the South, Scotland’s share of the then exploration and Scott’s Discovery Expedition. Shackleton’s Farthest South (so close) and the great race for the Pole.

    At the time of publication Scott was already there with the Terra Nova and a large experienced team to continue his previous work and to attempt the Pole. The end of the book suggests that the Scots and the Germans were making preparation but nothing of Amundsen … who a year later in December 1911 would beat Scott and his colleagues to the desolate spot at the very bottom of the World … Scott and his party perishing on the return.

    Polar Exploration nicely done and 1910 the year before the attainment of the Pole and the tragedy


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  • Wake of the Invercauld – Madelene Ferguson Allen

    Wake of the Invercauld – Madelene Ferguson Allen

    First edition 1997, published by Exisle Publishers, Auckland, New Zealand. Large octavo, 256 pages well illustrated with images and maps. Very good if not as new condition. A super book.

    In 1864 the Invercauld was shipwrecked on the remote Auckland Islands in the sub-Antarctic Ocean south of New Zealand. The author Madelene Ferguson Allen is the great-granddaughter of one of only three who ultimately survived the shipwreck or the subsequent hash conditions on the island.

    More than a shipwreck book Allen draws on original manuscripts, details the early year of Robert Holding and his time in Australia, refers to the First Mate’s Narrative (kindly gifted) … her two visits to the Auckland Islands produced some lovely photographic images and extended the historical content … now carefully controlled as a genuinely untouched wildlife sanctuary the book brings the cold island group to life

    Special book about a tragic event and a special island


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  • The Escuminac Disaster – Roy Saunders

    The Escuminac Disaster – Roy Saunders

    A first edition 1960 of this well written account published by Oldbourne, London in 1960.

    Octavo, 120 pages, illustrated with images from photographs. Complete dust jacket albeit riffed at edges and some internal marking. Still a good copy.

    On 19th June 1959 fifty-four salmon fishing vessels left Escuminac to fishing grounds in the Gulf of St Lawrence. A freak storm hit overnight of incredible intensity. Nearly half the fleet were destroyed and thirty five men and boys drowned. Notwithstanding the sadness of the events this book stands as a tribute to the fishermen and their families.

    A real reminder of the dangers that fishermen face and their strength and natural hardiness.

    SO SORRY SOLD … Off to New Brunswick


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  • Posted Missing – The Story of Ships Lost Without Trace in Recent Years – Alan Villiers

    Posted Missing – The Story of Ships Lost Without Trace in Recent Years – Alan Villiers

    A quite hard to find Alan Villiers first edition. Published by Hodder, London in 1956. Octavo, 256 pages nicely illustrated from photographs and with end paper maps. Quite heavily foxed around the page edges but clean internally still an acceptable to good copy of a desirable book.

    Villiers writes about these events with the expertise that comes from plying the trade and avoiding the tragic mishaps the subject of the book.

    Alan Villiers first edition for true maritime enthusiasts


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