Sailing Alone Around the World
Hard Cover. New York: The Century Co., 1907. Very Good.
Illustrated by Thomas Fogarty and George Varian. First edition, later printing. Presentation copy; inscribed by author on flyleaf: "To Mr. Woodcock / Joshua Slocum / On board the Spray / Nassau Feb 7th 1908". Publisher's navy boards with titles in silver to front board and spine, seahorse and anchor design to front board, housed in an attractive custom clamshell box with reproduction of Slocum's signature attached to cover. A very good copy with light soiling to exterior, a few leaves lightly spotted, and two small ownership inscriptions first blank. Overall, a bright and well-preserved copy. Extremely scarce signed by Slocum. Sailing Alone Around the World is Captain Joshua Slocum's firsthand account of his incredible solo circumnavigation of the earth, which took three years (1895-1898) and covered more than 46,000 miles. During the voyage Slocum encountered a number of life-threatening dangers, including gales, gear failure, and pirates. Slocum performed the voyage on his sloop, The Spray, which he spent a year renovating prior to the trip. He sailed without the use of a chronometer, relying instead on dead reckoning, a traditional navigation method. He also never learned to swim, believing it to be a useless skill. Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea, described the book as "Walden without training wheels." This copy includes an inscription by Slocum that references The Spray and is dated February 7th, 1908. Just one year later, Slocum disappeared while sailing on The Spray to the West Indies. He was finally declared legally dead in 1924.