SCORESBY, Jr., William (1789-1857)
Journal of a Voyage to the Northern Whale-Fishery
Edinburgh: printed for Archibald Constable & Co., and Hurst, Robinson & Co. of London, 1823. 8vo. (8 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches). Half-title. 8 engraved plates and maps (comprising: 1 folding map, 2 folding plates, 4 plates). Some light foxing.
Contemporary half calf and brown pebbled cloth covered boards, spine with raised bands, morocco lettering piece
First edition of the most important work by one of greatest of all Arctic explorers: "Geographically ... Scoresby's discoveries were greater in importance and number than those of any other single navigator in northern waters" (Hill).
"This book is an account of a voyage in which several weeks were spent in whaling and in the exploration of the Scoresby Sound region, in a search for Eskimo settlements and in quest of magnetic and other scientific observations. Included are descriptions of ice conditions, physical features, ocean currents, and ruins of Eskimo dwellings. The nine appendices include a list of plants by Sir W.J. Hooker, and extracts from the 1822 journals of two other whalers, the Hercules of Aberdeen, Captain Thomas Fairburn, and the Trafalgar of Hull, Captain Lloyd" (Hill). Scoresby's final Arctic voyage on the ship Baffin was to the relatively unknown eastern coast of Greenland in 1822. As weather conditions allowed him to approach close to shore, his chart of that coast, from 69°N to 75°N, was the most accurate of the time and included several new discoveries, including Scoresby's Sound which he named in honor of his father.
Arctic Bibliography 15614; Sabin 78171; Hill 1543.