Under Sail in the Frozen North by Frank Worsley, HARDCOVER FIRST EDITION, 1927, ondon.
Hardcover , without dustjacket with gilt-printed sailing ship on cover board, no dust jacket. Fully illustrated and fold-out map of Spitzbergen and environs at rear. Rough cut page block is heavily foxed. The Board covers are moderately marked with with small indent and edgewear to lower front edge in particular, and the crners and spine ends are bumped. Tears and small pieces of page missing at side edges of approximately 5 pages, but text remains unaffected. Images are bright and clear throughout, text is clean and clear and spine is tight. Not ex library, no mraks or inscriptions. The fold out map has a small 3cm tear tio the inner edge.
This is the story of Sail's last unaided battle with the polar pack-the swan-song of square sails driving the ship through the floes, handled by British seamen as in the days of Scoresby,Ross and Franklin."
From Liverpool to Franz Josef land under sail in 1925 on the Brigantine "Island" might sound like a modestly planned project in comparison with those recorded in a multitude of books on Antarctic expeditions.
Commander Frank Worsley, one of the heroes of the Shackleton era, latterly spent a year on Sir Edward Shackleton's ship "Quest".
This book is the result of Worsley's participation in an Arctic expedition with the Icelandic- Canadian, Grettir Algarsson, an enthusiastic 23 year-old idealist who originally wanted Worsley to command a ship to carry an aeroplane to Spitzbergen for an attempt to fly to the North Pole.
Things turned out differently and Frank became joint leader of the British Arctic Expedition on the 99 foot, 114 ton sailing ship, which seems small now but was considered a fair-sized craft when launched.With his compelling writing style, Worsley was able not only to record every aspect of seamanship on board and navigation through many alarming events, but also his personal observations of his fellow crew members with a fair amount of amusement.
There are many graphic photographs of the ship in pack-ice and of polar bears, some of which they shot for food and generally regarded as fair game in those very different days.
In the end, what did they achieve? The Zoological Report, Table of Groups, Genera and Species, Geological Notes and Hydrographic Worj are still of value today. The "Island" was the first vessel under sail to sight the Franz Josef group. "We sailed without engines" wrote Worsley in the last chapter,"in what was probably the last triumph of British seamanship under square sail in the pack-ice- the seamanship of volunteers and amateurs".