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The Tragedy of the Andrée Expedition. On the 'Eagle' to the Pole. First and only Russian edition.

The Tragedy of the Andrée Expedition. On the 'Eagle' to the Pole. First and only Russian edition.

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Boston Book Fair 2023 / Mindlin's archive / Translations / Travel & Exploration
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[The Tragedy of the Andrée Expedition. On the 'Eagle' to the Pole]. Gibel Ekspeditsii Andre: Na 'Orle' k poliusu. 

Translation by M. Diakonova and M. Diakonov from Norwegian edition [and by K. Zhikhareva].
Afterword by R. Samoilovich.

Leningrad, Moskva, GIKhL, 1931.
8vo, 272 pp., 16 l.ill.

In original pictorial hardcover.
In good condition, edges lightly bumped, Mindlin’s signature to title page ('Em. Mindlin / Moskva = 1932').

First and only Russian edition. One of 5 000 copies published. 

Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition of 1897 ended in tragedy, claiming the lives of all three expedition members: S. A. Andrée, Knut Frænkel, and Nils Strindberg. Andrée, the first Swedish balloonist, proposed an audacious journey by hydrogen balloon from Svalbard to either Russia or Canada, with the ambitious aim of passing directly over the North Pole. This plan received enthusiastic support in Sweden, a northern nation keen to assert its presence in the race to reach the North Pole.
In July 1897, Andrée, Strindberg, and Frænkel set out on their expedition from Svalbard. Unfortunately, the balloon quickly lost hydrogen and crashed onto the ice after just two days. Although the explorers survived the crash unharmed, they faced a grueling journey southward across the treacherous drifting ice. Ill-prepared and lacking adequate clothing and equipment, they struggled to navigate the challenging terrain and ultimately succumbed to the harsh Arctic conditions.
As the Arctic winter descended upon them in October, the group found themselves exhausted and stranded on the desolate Kvitøya (White Island) in Svalbard, where they tragically perished. For 33 years, the fate of the expedition remained one of the enduring mysteries of the Arctic. The discovery of the expedition's final camp in 1930 caused a sensation in Sweden, where the deceased explorers had been both mourned and revered.
In 1931, three books about Andrée's expedition were published in the USSR (this interest possibly had a connection with the Krasin expedition in 1928). This book is likely the first and possibly the only Russian translation of 'Med ørnen mot polen. Andrées polarekspedisjon 1897' ('With the Eagle Towards the Pole. Andrée's Polar Expedition 1897'), originally published in Oslo in 1930. It was based on the notes of S. Andrée, Nils Strindberg, and Knut Frænkel, discovered in 1930 on White Island.
The book is extensively illustrated with photographs taken by the Andrée expedition, as well as images by Gunnar Horn, the head of the Bratvaag expedition 1930, and journalist Knut Stubbendorf, who arrived at the site some weeks later.
The book was translated by the famous translator and writer Mikhail Diakonov (1885-1938), who was an employee of the Soviet trade mission in Norway and headed the publishing house of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. His wife, Maria Diakonova (1886-1949), also contributed to the translation. In 1938, Mikhail Diakonov was arrested and executed.
Additionally, the book includes an afterword by Rudolf Samoilovich (1881-1939), a polar explorer who commanded the icebreaker 'Krasin' during the 1928 expedition.

Provenance: from the library of the poet and journalist Emily Mindlin (1900-1981), who participated in the expedition of the icebreaker 'Krasin' in 1928.

We couldn’t trace any copy of this edition in the USA or European libraries via OCLC.

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