393 pp + 449 pp (2 volumes in 1), 8vo (8 3/4" H). B&w photographs, maps (1 fold-out), fold-out plan of the 'Fram'. "In the southern spring of 1911 two separate expeditions left their respective winter quarters in Antarctica in a desperate bid to achieve the glory of being first at the South Pole - a British party, led by Captain R.F. Scott, and a Norwegian one under Captain Roald Amundsen. Scott reached the Pole on 18 January 1912, only to find that the Norwegains had forestalled him over a month previously. Disconsolate, Scott and his four companions retraced their footsteps across the polar plateau, a 'via dolorosa' which was to lead to the deaths of all five from hunger and exposure. Scott's edited diary of the events has been a perennial bestseller ever since. Amundsen's own account, translated into English as 'The South Pole', never achieved the same popularity. Lacking in personal charisma, Amundsen was to some extent a victim of British chauvinism, which stereotyped him as a devious foreigner not above gaining the Pole by a deceitful stratagem and, worse by far, sacrificing his dogs to do so. His complaint in later years that British schoolchildren were being taught to regard Scot t as the true discoverer of the South Pole was probably no exaggeration. Today we can look back to these distant events more dispassionately, and freely give Amundsen the credit that is his due. He was a truly professional explorer who took pains to put all his theories to the test and left nothing to chance. 'The South Pole', which so successfully exemplifies Amundsen's philosophy of exploration, is a polar masterpiece which deserves to be in print again after so many years in limbo." Previous owner's name/date on front pastedown, embossed blind stamp on free front endpaper, a few edge creases and tiny tear archivally taped on fold-out map at rear, tiny speck on top of textblock, very light soiling on bottom of textblock, very light wrinkling at top/bottom of spine, minor edge wear. Dust jacket has light edge wear/wrinkling, ghost sticker mark on front panel, some darkening to flap-folds and spine edges, very light rubbing/soiling, a few tiny tears at top/bottom of spine, very small scuff mark on front panel.