1852 Arctic Miscellanies. A Souvenir Of The Late Polar Search. By The Officers And Seamen Of The Expedition.
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Colour Plates, First Edition, Illustrated, Leather Binding, Rebound, Scarce
The first edition of this fascinating and scarce publication from the crew of the 'Assistance', the expedition led by Horatio Austin in 1850-51 to find Franklin's lost party.
Locked in ice in the Canadian Arctic waters for eleven months, Austin's crew published a monthly newsletter to provide employment and amusement for their comrades, titling it the 'Aurora Borealis'. Edited by one of the officers, the men and officers onboard contributed a variety of both whimsical and informative articles, discussing the Inuit, sledge rides, history, and ornithology amongst a wide range of topics.
The preface remarks that this is an extraordinary publication due to its 'faithful record of the thoughts and sentiments of a body of our countrymen whilst exposed to extraordinary hardships and danger', remarking also upon the 'intellectual revolution' that had taken place in England, resulting in the literacy of ordinary seamen, and thus their ability to contribute their work.
With a colour chromolithograph frontispiece, engraved title page vignette, and a wealth of further vignette illustrations.
To the rear of the work is a twenty-four page publisher's catalogue, and an advertisement for Colburn's United Service Magazine. With the stamps of the Portsmouth Port Officer's Library to the tail of half title and page 346, and no other library markings present.
This fascinating and sometimes humorous collection of articles is described in the preface as possessing a 'delicacy of imagination and a power of perception' that make this work a formidable addition to the collection of anyone with an interest in polar expeditions.
Rebound in half calf, with marbled paper covered boards and endpapers renewed. One small mark to back strip, otherwise, externally pristine. Internally, a little tightly bound. Frontispiece chipped and rebacked to fore edge. Library stamp to tail of half title and page 346. Pages bright and generally clean, with the odd handling mark.
Very Good Indeed
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