Gaston Renard-Leonard Joel Auction, Melbourne, Australia, November 16, 1994
Bookseller Catalogues—

Gaston Renard - Leonard Joel, Melbourne

Gaston Renard - Leonard Joel Auction, November 16, 1994, Melbourne, Australia.

Lot 1432

[Shackleton, E. H.; Editor]. Never Mind THE BLIZZARD I'm all right. May 1902. Post 4to, First and only Edition; 6 leaves comprising drawings and typescript reproduced by spirit duplicator on board the "Discovery" while frozen in for the winter during Scott's first voyage to the Antarctic; extremely rare. [Antarctic, The Editor, May 1902]. ***Not in Spence. This highly amusing and ephemeral publication was the first item printed and published in the Antarctic. Published in an edition of fifty copies to enable each of the expedition members to have a copy (there were 38 members, including Captain Scott) it can safely be assumed that very few have survived. It may well be that, given the difficulties of production in an Antarctic winter, not all copies are exactly the same, however the collation of this copy, the only one we have seen, is as follows: Page [1]: Illustrated cover title; Page [2]: text, headed "NOTES", mostly editorial; Page [3]: Illustration [No. I, referred to in text]; Page [4]: blank; Pages [5] & [6]: text; Page [7]: Illustration [No.2, referred to in text]; Page [8]: blank; Pages [9] & [10]: Illustration [No.3, referred to in text and repeated (intentionally) on verso 1; Page [11]: verses headed a sealing tour, by EMOSDAH; Page [12]: blank. Pages [I]-[6] & [11] are printed in blue, page [7] in green and pages [9]-[10] in purple. Each leaf is watermarked "Royal Nonpareil Wove" with a crown surmounting a shield with 3 lions passant. There are [later] pencilled numbers at the top comers of each page and a couple of clearly contemporary Ms. corrections to the typescript (probably by Shackleton). The front and rear surfaces are lightly foxed; it is otherwise clean and in fine condition. [Illustrated overleaf]

The circumstances surrounding the production and publication of this work are interesting and show Shackleton's early interest in publishing in the Antarctic which was to culminate in 1908 in the production of "Aurora Australis" on Shackleton's own expedition. Before the commencement of winter the production of a monthly publication for the amusement and interest of the crew was discussed and Shackleton was appointed Editor by common consent. This publication, "The South Polar Times" was produced on a monthly basis in a single copy by typescript and manuscript and was circulated amongst the expedition members. It was later reproduced after the expedition's return in a limited edition of 250 copies and published by Smith, Elder in 1907.
Scott comments on the publication on page 363 of The Voyage of the Discovery:
'''Before the appearance of the first number of the "S.P.T.," which came out with the departure of the sun, the editor had to face a rather delicate situation: it was announced that contributions need not be signed, but must be dropped into the editor's box by a certain date. When the date arrived it was found that the novelty of the venture had aroused such widespread interest that the box was crammed with manuscripts, and though there was not much difficulty in making a selection, there was some danger of wounding the feelings of those literary aspirants whose contributions were rejected. In this dilemma the editor decided to issue a supplementary journal, to be named the "Blizzard," and one number of this redoubtable publication was produced, but fell so lamentably short of the "S.P.T." that the contributors realised that their mission in life did not lie in the paths of literary composition, and therafter the editor's box contained only what the astute individual required for the original periodical.
The anonymity of articles could not long be observed in such a small community, and after the appearance of the first numbers [of S. P. T.] the style of different individuals was more easily recognised; but even the later numbers have contained some articles concerning the authorship of which there has been much erratic guessing. In mentioning the "Blizzard" I ought to remark that it has redeeming features in some capital line caricatures and a distinctly humorous frontispiece by Barne."

Shackleton himself also refers to the Blizzard in the first issue of the The South Polar Times (April, 1902, page 26):
Owing to obvious reasons, only one copy of The South Polar Times can be published monthly, but it is hoped that on the return of the Expedition to England, the paper may then be reprinted, and all who desire a copy may then obtain one. ....
"Owing to the large and still increasing number of contributions of a humorous type, and of fleeting local interest, interest that would be lost ere another number of the Times appeared, and which, if appearing in the current month, would upset the balance of grave and gay we strive to maintain; it has been decided to publish as early as possible next month, a paper which is to be entitled "The Blizzard".
"One of the main points of value about "The Blizzard" will be the fact that every citizen may obtain a copy, directly the paper is published. The South Polar Times and "The Blizzard" being published at the same office, the Editor reserves the right of producing any article in either, or both, of the above mentioned papers."

In characteristicaly humorous sryle Shackleton throws further light on the difficulties of publication in his editorial on page [2] of The Blizzard: "Owing to the amount of time occupied in producing fifty copies of this paper, it must necessarily be very limited in size, so the Editor hopes that those who do not find their contributions in this number will not be disappointed, for they may appear at some future date. ....
"The services of a celebrated artist have been engaged for this work, and the portraits are true to life, even though that may not be the opinion of the subjects themselves, and if they think them unflattering, they must not blame the artist, but rather the severe weather, which has even affected the ink used in printing, changing it from blue to green, and from green to purple; so if they do not see the delicate contour, the regular features, and the noble expression that their looking glasses would lead them to expect, in these reproductions, they must blame the low temperatures which have of late affected the office machinery."

Lieut. Albert Armitage also refers to The Blizzard in his Two Years in the Antarctic:
"Needless to say that a rival magazine [to S.P.T.] which was to be brought out, named The Blizzard, whose contents consisted of poetical effusions rejected by The South Polar Times, did not survive the first number." However, he evidently thought sufficiently well ofit to reproduce the illustrations (albeit at reduced size) in his book, and they appear at pp. 87, 89, 105 & 119. * * *

Results: AUD20,900 which includes 10% buyer’s premium. 1USD=1.33155 AUD or 1AUD=0.751004 USD on that date. Therefore: $15,696.