Farthest North: The Epic Adventure of a Visionary Explorer

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Skyhorse Publishing Inc., Jun 1, 2008 - History - 678 pages
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"If Outside magazine had been around during the first turn of the century, Fridtjof Nansen would have been its No. 1 cover boy."—The Chicago Sun-Times In September of 1893, Norwegian zoologist Fridtjof Nansen and crew manned the schooner Fram, intending to drift, frozen in the Arctic pack-ice, to the North Pole. When it became clear that they would miss the pole, Nansen and companion Hjalmar Johansen struck off by themselves. Racing the shrinking pack-ice, they attempted, by dog-sled, to go "farthest north." They survived a winter in a moss hut eating walruses and polar bears, and the public assumed they were dead. In the spring of 1896, after three years of trekking, and having made it to within four degrees of the pole, they returned to safety. Nansen's narrative stands with the best writing on polar exploration. 20 b/w photographs.
  

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I have just finished reading this after I had a trip to Oslo and toured the Fram, went to Spitsbergen and we 'cruised' up to the pack ice. This book is EPIC and so easy to read. Puts modern explorers to shame, but illustrates clearly how a belief in something can be a driving force for exploration. The book is full of real life accounts - a diary - but not at all dry, about scientific research - but not at all 'scientific', and about endurance, comradeship, endeavour, sharing and adventure. I am, by the way, a 62 year old woman, and this is one of the best books I have read in recent years. 

Selected pages

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
PREPARATIONS AND EQUIPMENT
35
THE START
51
FAREWELL TO NORWAY
61
VOYAGE THROUGH THE KARA SEA
83
THE WINTER NIGHT
123
THE SPRING AND SUMMER OF 1894
225
SECOND AUTUMN IN THE ICE
265
A HARD STRUGGLE
381
BY SLEDGE AND KAYAK
421
LAND AT LAST
463
THE NEW YEAR 1896
523
THE JOURNEY SOUTHWARDS
543
MARCH 15TH TO JUNE 22ND 1895
601
JUNE 22ND TO AUGUST 15TH 1895
619
AUGUST 15TH 1895 TO JANUARY 1ST 1896
629

WE PREPARE FOR THE SLEDGE EXPEDITION
301
THE NEW YEAR 1895
321
WE MAKE A START
343
WE SAY GOODBYE TO THE FRAM
369
JANUARY 1ST TO MAY 17TH 1896
645
THE THIRD SUMMER
655
CONCLUSION
675
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About the author (2008)

Fridtjof Nansen made early contributions to neuron doctrine and was the discoverer of "dead water." He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his work as a high commissioner of the League of Nations.

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