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Item #: PL6683-294
THE U.S. GRINNELL EXPEDITION IN SEARCH OF SIR JOHN FRANKLIN: A PERSONAL NARRATIVE Elisha Kent Kane 1854 Hardcover Very Good
By Kane, Elisha Kent
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Detailed Product Description
Harper & Bros, New York, 1854, 1st edition - 2nd issue. 552 pp, 8 tinted lithographed plates, 5 mezzotint plates (including frontispiece), 3 maps and charts (including one folding), one wood-engraved plate and numerous wood-engraved illustrations, marbled end papers. Half leather and marbled boards with gilt titles on spine - marbled page edges. Tape repairs to hinges at front and rear end papers and some rubbing to covers, else near fine. Very Good overall.

This is A richly illustrated account, the tinted plates in particular suggesting the greenish sheen of Arctic ice, by the senior medical officer of the first Grinnell Arctic Expedition, 1850-51, describing the atmospheric conditions, icebergs, narwhals, bears, birds, meteors, Inuit kayaking techniques and the discovery of Franklin's first winter camp. The true first is something of a rarity, as ever, due to a warehouse fire, in this case, on December 12, 1853, and reported in The New York Times: "Among the many new books which were consumed is Dr. Kane's History of his Artic Explorations, a large octavo, profusely illustrated with engravings, which had been ready for some days, but was kept back until supply could be secured." The number of surviving copies is cited as 20 according to a letter from the author's father quoted in a Bonhams catalogue entry from 2013. The book was re-issued the following year, with an 1854 title-page This is the second issue but still a rare book and the first attempt to rescue Sir John Franklin and his ill fated search for a Northwest passage. It was not until the 1980s when a search party uncovered 3 members of his crew who died first in the freezing weather and were buried in simple pine boxes, after 150 years of death, these young lads were in good shape. This large one volume edition preceded the later 2 volume 1856 edition with contained a second voyage.

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