Memoire Sur La Navigation Dans la Mer Du Nord depuis le 63 degre de latitude vers le Pole, & depuis kle 10 au 100 degre Longitud
Publisher: F. Samuel Fetscherin
+28+ pages lacking the map. Small quarto (10" x 7 1/2") bound in three quarter morocco with raised spine bands lettered in gilt over marbled boards, top edges in gilt. (Sabin 22572) First edition.
Rare account of travels into the arctic, most notably Nova Zemblya to the north of Europe.
Samuel Engel (1702-1784) was a Swiss geographer, agronomist, and mathematician active in the middle part of the 17th century. His main work, Memoires and Observations was published in 1765 and while somewhat obscure today was highly influential in the 1700s. Engel argued that ice only formed in fresh water and that, such being the case, the Arctic Ocean would be ice-free and navigable closer to the poles. Engel's theories influenced exploration in search of the Northwest Passage, specifically, the launching of the disastrous 1773 Phipps expedition to the North Pole. He also wrote several articles for Diderot's Encyclopedie, including a description of a pre-Columbian Chinese colony in North America - Fusang. Engle also argued that Baron Lahonton, an enigmatic explorer of America's inland waterways, was in fact fictitious - though he nonetheless incorporated Lahonton's geography in his own maps.
Rubbing to joints and extremities; some minor staining and soiling within, hinge professionally repaired else a very good copy. Only five copies found on worldcat.
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