9 May 2002
Sherard Osborn & George F. McDougall (editors).
Facsimile of the Illustrated Arctic News, published on board H.M.S. Resolute: Captn. Horatio T. Austen. C.B. in search of the expedition under Sir John Franklin. London: Ackermann & Co., 15th March 1852. 2° (472 x 292mm). Lithographed throughout. Title with hand-coloured vignette, numerous illustrations, some hand-coloured, one full-page and printed in colours, a second half-page and printed in colours, most after McDougall. (Tears to lower margins of about five leaves, leaf numbered 27-28 with 100mm. tear affecting the text area, two final leaves spotted.) Original dark blue cloth gilt (tears to head and foot of spine, some light dampstaining).
RARE. The Resolute under the command of Captain Horatio Austin and the Assistance under Erasmus Ommanney were despatched to search for Sir John Franklin in February 1850. Public interest in and concern for the fate of Sir John's expedition was at its height and, as the illustration on p.13 of the present work shows, by the middle of August 1850 there were at least eight vessels in the Arctic. The 'newspaper' was produced (in acknowledged imitation of the Illustrated London News) by Osborn and McDougal with contributions from various other generally pseudonymous sources. The text gives a first hand insight into the life of the expedition: the daily routine, eye-witness accounts of the finding of the first evidence of Franklin's Erebus and Terror expedition, the various entertainments devised to ward off the tedium of the Arctic winter; all these are amply illustrated by accompanying vignettes. The work is presented with two preliminary leaves, followed by the five 'issues' of the periodical, and finishing with two leaves of miscellaneous 'Arctic sketches'.
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