14 December 2000
THE PROPERTY OF A NORTHEAST COLLECTOR
BRAITHWAITE, John (1797-1870). Supplement to Captain Sir John Ross's Narrative of a Second Voyage in the Victory, in Search of a North-west Passage, containing the Suppressed Facts. London: Chapman and Hall, 1835.
4o (282 x 215 mm). 11 leaves. (Last leaf with small loss at corner.) Original blue paper wrappers; green quarter morocco slipcase.
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY BRAITHWAITE on the title-page: "To Sidney Smirke Esqre, with the Author's Compts." Ross set out on his second voyage in 1829 in the Victory, a small paddle-steamer with boilers fitted by Messrs. Braithwaite and Ericsson. He was accompanied by his nephew James Clark Ross, a purser, a surgeon and 19 men. Ross sought a passage south from Regent's Inlet but was unable to break through the ice and wintered in Felix Harbour in 1829-1830. The Victory made little progress south in the following summer and was abandoned in May 1832, beset by ice. Ross and his party wintered at Fury Beach and were rescued by a whaler, Ross's old ship the Isabella. Ross attributed the failures largely to the shortcomings of the boilers supplied by Braithwaite, an experienced engineer who had designed the first practical steam fire engine. Ross's criticisms led to a series of vituperative exchanges. The recipient of this volume was most probably Sydney Smirke, the architect who completed the restoration of Temple Church and who built the reading room at the British Museum. Arctic Bibliography 2074; Sabin 7360. A VERY FINE COPY IN THE ORIGINAL WRAPPERS.
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