London, South Kensington
1 April 2015
RICHARDSON, John (1787-1865). Arctic Searching Expedition: A Journal of a Boat-Voyage through Rupert's Land and the Arctic Sea, in Search of the Discovery Ships under Command of Sir John Franklin. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1851.
2 volumes, 8o (221 x 140 mm). Tinted lithographed frontispieces in each volume and 8 plates, partially colored folding map (Some browning to plates, map with short tear at inner margin, occasional tears to text margins, a little light soiling and staining.) Publisher’s brown ribbed cloth, gilt-lettered spines, partly unopened (spine of vol. II torn at head). Provenance: ‘SHB 1867’ (inscription in both vols).
FIRST EDITION. Richardson, who had accompanied Franklin on two previous expeditions, thought it his sacred duty to search for his lost friend and so joined this voyage leaving in 1847. Eighteen men set out in three boats and reached the mouth of the Mackenzie River in August 1848. They explored eastward toward the Coppermine River and had a difficult retreat across the Barren Lands to Great Bear Lake, where they wintered. Richardson, realising that the mission was too taxing on him, left the younger men to carry on, and returned to England in 1849. He did not limit himself to the search for Franklin, but made observations about the plants and animals of the region as well. An extensive appendix provides a detailed listing of Canadian and Arctic plants.
Arctic Bibliography 14489; Field 1300; Graff 3493; Sabin 71025; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 9170; Staton & Tremaine/TPL 3029.
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