A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY, MADE UNDER THE ORDERS OF THE ADMIRALTY, IN HIS MAJESTY'S SHIPS ISABELLA AND ALEXANDER, FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPLORING BAFFIN'S BAY, AND INQUIRING INTO THE PROBABILITY OF A NORTH-WEST PASSAGE
by Ross, John
London: John Murray, 1819. ,xxxix,,252,,cxliv pp., plus three folding maps, ten folding plates (four colored), eighteen single-page plates (ten colored), and errata slip. Quarto. Contemporary polished calf, gilt and blind tooled. Spine rebacked, gilt and blind tooled, gilt leather labels. Corners bumped, boards slightly scuffed. Lightly foxed, some offsetting from plates. Very Good. One of the pioneering voyages of high Arctic discovery. Led by Sir John Ross, the officers included future Arctic greats William Parry, James Clark Ross, and Edward Sabine. Ross sailed up Davis Strait and westward into Lancaster Sound, seeking a northwest passage. A mirage deceived him into believing the end of the Sound was blocked by a high range of mountains, despite the disbelief of his colleagues. The expedition returned to England in 1818 with much fanfare and Ross was promoted, but the false conclusions were widely challenged when this account was published, and involved Ross in lifelong controversy. Aside from its incorrect geographical conclusions, however, the expedition bore important fruits in encouraging Arctic exploration, training future leaders, and compiling accurate geographical and ethnological data. This copy is particularly notable for the beautiful extensive contemporary coloring of the plates. One of the most remarkable plates in the book shows the encounter of Ross and his officers- decked out in full Royal Navy dress uniform- encountering the Eskimos in Lancaster Sound. The image was created by John Stackhouse, who was serving as the native interpreter for the expedition. ARCTIC BIBLIOGRAPHY 14873. HILL 1488. TPL 1152. ABBEY 634. SABIN 73376. LANDE 1425.
(Inventory #: WRCAM50491A)
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