Wife of self-proclaimed North Pole discoverer Robert Edwin Peary, Josephine Peary was the first woman apart from the Inuit to take part in an Arctic expedition. My Arctic Journal, unavailable for nearly a century, is Peary's memoir of the time she spent, from June of 1891 to August of 1892, accompanying her husband and his exploration party across the northernmost expanses of Greenland. Peary recounts in detail the hardships of life in the frozen North, and describes at length the customs of the Inuit natives, among whom she spent a great deal of time. She also tells of her experiences hunting near the top of the world, and gives her impressions of the other members of the expedition, who included explorers Dr. Frederick Cook and Matthew Henson. Richly illustrated and written with candor and emotion, My Arctic Journal is a unique gem of an exploration memoir.
Josephine Peary (1863-1955) made six extended trips to the Arctic. Her book about the birth of her daughter during one of these trips, The Snow Baby, was a big success when it was published in 1901. Robert M. Bryce is the author of Cook and Peary: The Polar Controversy, Resolved. He lives in Monrovia, Maryland, near Washington, DC.