The First Crossing of Greenland

The First Crossing of Greenland

The First Crossing of Greenland

The First Crossing of Greenland


Fridtjof Nansen journeyed across Greenland in 1888 - eight attempts before him failed. This edition removes the technical appendices. the historical sections on previous attempts to penetrate the fiedl, and the detailed account of the Eskimos. The record of the journey, however, remains intact.


I FEEL that I cannot send this book out to meet its fate without attaching to it a hearty expression of my gratitude to all those who gave their help to the expedition with which it is concerned.

Among these I must assign a prominent place to Herr AUGUSTIN GAMÉL, in virtue of the ready liberality with which he offered his support to an undertaking which was very generally considered to be the scheme of a lunatic. And after him I must thank the Committee of the Norwegian ‘Studentersamfund,’ or ‘Students’ Union’, who organised the collection of, and the large number of my countrymen who contributed to, the considerable sum which I received on my return home in defrayal of the outstanding expenses of the expedition. And, lastly, I must acknowledge the kindness of all the Danish officials with whom we came in contact, both in Denmark and Greenland, as well as the unbounded hospitality with which we were treated on all sides.

But my chief thanks are nevertheless owing to my five comrades, to whose combined efforts the successful result of our undertaking is of course mainly due. Everyone who has conducted an expedition will know how ready the world is to do the great injustice of heaping the whole praise or blame for its success or failure on the shoulders of the leader alone. And this injustice is greater than usual in the case of an expedition like ours, in which each member serves as one of a team of draught cattle, and the result of which cannot therefore be dependent on the efforts of a single individual.

My comrades, too, I must thank for the terms of good-fellowship on which we lived, and for the many pleasant hours we spent together in spite of ungenial surroundings. On these hours I have often dwelt with peculiar fondness in the course of my narrative. I have once more called to life many a little incident, which to others indeed may seem trivial, but which has a special value to us. If in so doing I have been induced to extend my tale to undue length, I must ask the good reader to bear with me if he can; and if not, to remember that here at least all the blame must be laid on me and me alone.

Fridtjof Nansen Lysaker, Christiania, October 1890.

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