Selected plates

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Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the Years 1819, 20, 21, and 22 ... with an appendix on various subjects relating to science and natural history
London: printed by William Clowes for John Murray, 1823
Quarto (11 1/4" x 8 5/8"). Uncut. 31 engraved or aquatint plates (11 hand-coloured) by Edward Finden, J. Curtis and others after Robert Hood (8) and George Back (15) Hood & Back (1) J. Swan (1) and J. Curtis (6) 4 folding engraved maps. Original boards, uncut (re-backed inner hinges repaired). Second quarto edition in boards: this edition is considerably scarcer than the first. In 1819 Lieutenant John Franklin a career Naval Officer who had been at the battle of Trafalgar was placed in command of an expedition appointed to proceed overland from the Hudson Bay to the shores of the Arctic Sea and to determine the trending of that coast eastward of the Coppermine river. At this period the northern coast of the American continent was known at two isolated points only - this the mouth of the Coppermine river (which as Franklin discovered was erroneously placed four degrees of latitude too much to the north) and the mouth of the Mackenzie far to the west of it. Lieutenant Franklin and his party consisting of Dr Richardson Midshipmen George Back and Robert Hood and a few boatmen arrived at the depot of the Hudson's Bay Company at the end of August 1819 and making an autumnal journey of 700 miles spent the first winter on the Saskatchewan. Owing to the supplies which had been promised by the North-West and Hudson's Bay Companies not being forthcoming the following year it was not until the summer of 1821 that the Coppermine was ascended to its mouth and a considerable extent of sea-coast to the eastward surveyed. The return journey led over the region known as the Barren Ground and was marked by the most terrible sufferings and privations and the tragic death of Lieutenant Hood. The survivors of the expedition reached York Factory in the month of June 1822 having accomplished altogether 5550 miles of travel. While engaged on this service Franklin was promoted to the rank of commander (1st of January 1821) and upon his return to England at the end of 1822 he obtained the post rank of captain and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. The first edition of the narrative of this expedition was published in the following year and became at once a classic of travel. The present edition sometimes referred to as the second issue of the first edition has an enlarged introduction contains an additional natural history plate and a more detailed map (among other changes).

Coloured plates in order:

1. Frontis. Manner of making a resting place on a Winters night.
2. Portrait of a Stone Indian. (female)
3. Interior of a Cree Indian Tent.
4. Portrait of Akaitcho, and his son.
5. Keskarrah, a Copper Indian Guide and his daughter Green Stockings, mending a snow shoe.
6. Junius & Augustus. Portraits of two Eskimaux interpreters.
7. View of the Arctic Sea, from the mouth of the Copper Mine River, Midnight.
8. Expedition doubling Cape Barrow, July 25, 1821.
9. Canoe broaching to in a gale of wind at sunrise.
10. Coregonus signifier (Back's Grayling.)
11. Dufourea artica / Cetraria Richardsonii (Coral.)

[Folding Map] An Outline to shew the Connected Discoveries of Captains Ross, Parry & Franklin in the years 1818-23.
Abbey Travel II 635; Arctic Bibliography 5194; Hill 635; Lande 1181; Sabin 25624; Staton & Tremaine 1248; Tooley Appendix 230A; Bobins I 49.
Hand coloured plates
Natural history, Polar regions, Travel/Scenery
Stock ID