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AMUNDSEN, Roald (1872–1928). Sydpolen: Den Norske Sydpolsfaerd med Fram 1910–1912. Kristiana: Jacob Dybwads, [May–September] 1912.

40 parts, 8vo in fours (240 x 164mm). Sepia photographic frontispiece of Amundsen, 47 plates, 4 maps (3 colored), and numerous in text illustrations. Original photographic and pictorial wrappers with embossing, the first two parts colored silver and the remainder light blue, uncut (some light fraying at extreme edges, few occasional stains, Part 3 upper corner torn and professionally reproduced in facsimile, several spines mended professionally and discretely with Japanese paper, gatherings sprung in Parts 13 and 27, front cover detached on Part 17); publisher’s instructions for private binder’s at front of Part XXI requesting publisher’s covers to be bound with the parts; INCLUDES PRESUMABLEY THE AFOREMENTIONED ORIGINAL PUBLISHER’S CLOTH COVERS. These were possibly the ones ordered from the publisher for the use of binding up these parts (which were never bound); morocco–backed slipcase.

FIRST EDITION, ORIGINAL PARTS ISSUE of Amundsen’s classic account of his victorious expedition to the south pole. TIPPED–IN WITH A CLIPPED SIGNATURE BY AMUNDSEN in Part I. Amundsen disembarked from the Fram at Buenos Aires in May 1912 to meet his sponsor Don Pedro Christophersen. He was invited to stay on one of Christophersen’s estancias to write up his account of the expedition. The “Fram” returned home without him, leaving Buenos Aires on 7 June 1912, the second anniversary of their departure from Christiania. The sudden contrast was not lost on Amundsen: “Here I am, sitting in the shade of palms, surrounded by the most wonderful vegetation, enjoying the most magnificent fruits, and writing -- the history of the South Pole. What an infinite distance seems to separate that region from these surroundings! And yet it is only four months since my gallant comrades and I reached the coveted spot ... On December 14, 1911, five men stood at the southern end of our earth’s axis, planted the Norwegian flag there, and named the region after the man for whom they would all gladly have offered their lives -- King Haakon VII. Thus the veil was torn aside for all time, and one of the greatest of our earth’s secrets had ceased to exist. Since I was one of the five who, on that December afternoon, took part in this unveiling, it has fallen to my lot to write –– the history of the South Pole”.

This original parts issue of Sydpolen was followed by Jacob Dybwads’ 2–volume edition and translated immediately into English, Danish, French, and German. Rosove lists only 2 copies of the original parts issue (one of which lacks the binding advertisement and instructions) calling it “VERY SCARCE”. He lists no copies in public institutions. Most part issues were bound together by contemporary binders, the original printed wrappers being “variably retained”, and even these bound sets Rosove considers “uncommon” (4 listings). Rosove 8.A1.1.

 AMUNDSEN, Roald (1872–1928). Sydpolen: Den Norske Sydpolsfa...
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