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KAHN Serge


Jean-Baptiste Charcot : Explorateur des mers, navigateur des pôles (Glénat, 2006)

Serge KAHN

Serge Kahn, 54, is the historiographer of French polar expeditions, the chairman of the association Amis du Commandant Charcot et du Pourquoi-Pas ? and member of the European Association of philately. He has had a keen interest for a number of years in French activities in polar regions and more specifically in Jean-Baptiste Charcot.
He became interested at a very young age in polar expeditions through his stamp collection. He is fascinated by explorers and the race to conquer the poles. He decided to leave the world of business and dedicate himself completely to his passion. He has set himself the task of preserving the memory of polar history through publications, articles, conferences and exhibitions. Serge Khan has three great privileges. Indeed, he has met some of Charcot’s former companions as well as Marthe Emmanuel, his colleague for ten years at the Société de Géographie. He has also sailed in the areas explored by Charcot in Antarctica and western Greenland. And finally, he has been given access to family archives.

In french

Bibliography :

  • Jean-Baptiste Charcot : Explorateur des mers, navigateur des pôles (Glénat, 2006)

A brief summary of Jean-Baptiste Charcot : Explorateur des mers, navigateur des pôles :

What would polar research have become in France had it not been for Jean-Baptiste Charcot’s expeditions ? Indeed, after the discovery of Adélie land by Dumont d’Urville in 1840, France did not become interested in the polar regions until Jean-Baptiste Charcot mounted his two expeditions in 1903-1905 with the ship Français, and in 1908-1910 with the Pourquoi-Pas ? Thanks to these expeditions which garnered incredible scientific data, Charcot became a great explorer in a league with people like Amundsen, Byrd, Nordenskjöld, Shackleton and Scott. Sailing in extreme conditions on the edge of the ice pack, Commander Charcot followed the coast of Graham land and discovered at 70° latitude South an unknown territory which he called Charcot land in honour of his father, Jean-Martin, a famous French neurologist. Abundantly illustrated with previously unpublished documents from the family archives, this book also gives an account of the many missions undertaken by this courageous navigator in the Northern seas between 1912 and 1936, such as the Faeroes islands, Jan Mayen in Iceland and the western coast of Greenland where he settled the Paul-Emile Victor ethnographic mission in 1934. This book is being published 70 years after the disappearance of the explorer when his ship the Pourquoi-Pas ? was wrecked in Iceland on September 16, 1936