The stories of the first explorers of the Arctic and the North Pole have always been somewhat overshadowed by the famous and tragic race for the South Pole a decade later. In truth the story is no less riveting to the reader, in terms of bravery, resilience and determination.
What is more, in an extra dimension to the story there is the enduring controversy over who was in fact the first to make it to the North Pole. Was it Dr Frederick Cook in 1908, or Captain Peary in 1909? History has given most of the credit to Peary - who had powerful friends in the likes of ex-President Teddy Roosevelt backing his claim, but Cook still tells a compelling narrative, which is included in this ebook.
In addition to these two controversial and competing stories, this Anthology also contains two other crucial texts. One is the personal account of Matthew A Henson, who accompanied Peary on his Polar expedition - entitled (in the language of the era) "A Negro Explorer At the North Pole", and which provides a veritable wealth of detail and insight.
The fourth and most detailed account in this Anthology is by the legendary Norwegian explorer Dr Fridjof Nansen in his account of his foray into the Arctic titled "Farthest North". Nansen was the "Godfather" of Polar exploration, and most of those explorers who followed did so in his footsteps, utilising the techniques he pioneered, and in Amundsen's case even using Nansen's ship, the "Fram", which had been specially designed for travel in the ice.
Each of these intrepid explorers gives their own incredible, stoic, and sometimes harrowing accounts of the almost impossible odds they faced to achieve their goals. Through success and failure, personal sacrifice, loyalty, rescue and even death, these great explorers advanced the sum of human scientific knowledge and achievement, and richly deserve their place in history. The texts in this Anthology are unexpurgated, and include appendices, but have all been formatted and optimized for Kobo and e-readers, and include selected photos, illustrations and maps from the expeditions themselves.