Only the Arctic explorer himself is able to explain the source of the attraction that lures men to the icy north. However greatly opinions may differ as to the feasibility of the plans of the majority of the explorers; as to the practical results which may accrue to navigation or commerce; or as to the benefits to be derived by science from their observa tions in these regions, it will not be denied that the men who, in face of a terribly rigorous climate and of fearful bodily risks, sail northward with a fixed determination to wrest from Nature her most closely guarded secret, are worthy of admiration. In this record I intend to place before my readers not only the life and history of a brave man who has early in life eclipsed the performances of many of his predecessors, but to present it in such a manner as to allow the ordinary reader to draw a parallel between the doings of Fridtjof Nansen and those of the men who have gone before him in the path which he has himself chosen. In comparison with the journeys of Dr. Nansen and his companions, all other Arctic ventures of recent years fall into the shade. No explorer of the Arctic regions since Franklin, no traveller indeed save Columbus, has gained so great a hold upon the imagination of his contemporaries. As in his journey across Greenland, so in his attempt to find the North Pole — he modestly but fearlessly confronted danger with the full knowledge that to fail was most probably to die.