"Except for the bottom of the sea or the center of the earth, the North Pole, at the end of the nineteenth century, was the world's last mysterious destination."The Ice Balloon: S.A. Andree and the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration retells the attempt by Swedish explorer S.A. Andree to reach the north pole by hydrogen balloon. Writer Alec Wilkinson recounts the whole story of Andree's venture from its first conception to the final recovery of its lost artifacts, and intersperses his tale with other events in the history of Arctic exploration. Wilkinson draws on previous accounts of Arctic exploration as well as original documents from various expeditions to reconstruct an era of scientific discovery. The book includes photographs taken by contemporaries of Andree, including some that were shot on Andree's expedition and lost for decades when the undeveloped film was frozen in the ice along with the members of the party.