Journals and Proceedings of the Arctic Expedition, 1875-6, Under the Command of Captain Sir George S. Nares, Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty
Publisher: Harrison & Sons for Her Majesty's Stationery Office
[v]+[blank]+484 pages with 32 maps & plates (mostly folding) and tables. Folio (13" x 8 1/4") bound in half leather with gilt lettering to spine over pebbled brown cloth. (Arctic Bibliography 45255) First edition.
Vice-Admiral Sir George Strong Nares was a Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer. He commanded the first ship to pass through the Suez Canal, the Challenger Expedition, and the British Arctic Expedition. He was highly thought of as a leader and scientific explorer. In later life he worked for the Board of Trade and as Acting Conservator of the River Mersey. Because of his previous experience in the Arctic, he was summoned from this assignment to take charge of another Arctic voyage in search of the North Pole in Discovery and Alert in 1875, the British Arctic Expedition. On this expedition, Nares became the first explorer to take his ships all the way north through the channel between Greenland and Ellesmere Islandâ€”now named Nares Strait in his honorâ€”to the Lincoln Sea. Up to this time, it had been a popular theory that this route would lead to the supposed Open Polar Sea, an ice-free region surrounding the pole, but Nares found only a wasteland of ice. A sledging party under Albert Hastings Markham set a new record farthest north of 83Â° 20' 26"N, but overall the expedition was a near-disaster. The men suffered badly from scurvy and were hampered by inappropriate clothing and equipment. Realizing that his men could not survive another winter in the ice, Nares hastily retreated southward with both his ships in the summer of 1876. Nares wrote an account of the expedition.
Provenance: Free Public Library and Museum, Blackburn (early ink library stamps on title-page and a few preliminaries). Rebacked & re-cornered in modern brown morocco else a very good copy.
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