HAIG-THOMAS, David. Tracks in the Snow. London, Hodder and Stoughton, .
8vo. Original cloth with illustrated dust-wrapper, not price-clipped; pp. 292, two sketch maps, photogravure plates; wrappers only lightly dulled in places and with a little wear to hinges; the cleanest and best copy we ever handled.
First edition, very rare in the wrappers. 'Born in London in 1908, David Haig-Thomas rowed the Cambridge University eight to victory in the Boat Race three years in succession, also competing for Britain in the Olympics. In 1933 he joined his fellow Old Etonian Wilfred Thesiger on an expedition to trace the route of the Awash River in Abyssinia. The hawk-like Thesiger noted later that Haig-Thomas never brushed his teeth, took a bath or read a book, and he said he was glad to see him go when Haig-Thomas left the expedition because of illness (but Thesiger never liked anybody except his mother and African boys). Haig-Thomas went on to explore and map portions of Arctic Canada, notably on expeditions led by Edward Shackleton, son of Sir Ernest, in the process gaining valuable field experience wintering in a cold climate. Between 1937 and 1938 he led the British Arctic Expedition from Qaanaaq in north-west Greenland, crossing Ellesmere Island then sledging to Amund Ringnes Island, Axel Heiberg Island and what became Haig-Thomas Island. The team then spent the summer of 1938 back in Qaanaaq … Haig-Thomas Island is one of the Sverdrup Islands in Qikiqtaaluk Region in Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost and youngest province. When Haig-Thomas charted it in 1938 he and his companions were ahead of their time: they undertook research on the ozone layer, something hardly anyone had heard of then … It is a mesmerising book, a model of Arctic literature' (Sarah Wheeler in The Telegraph, Saturday Magazine, January 24, 2015).