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Item #: OP1188-267
HIMALAYAN JOURNALS; OR NOTES OF A NATURALIST IN BENGAL, THE SIKKIM, AND NEPAL HIMALAYAS, THE KHASIA MOUNTAINS, &c. Two Volumes. Hooker London 1854 1st edition Leather bound Near Fine
By Hooker, Joseph Dalton
Price: $495.00

List Price: $1400.00
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Detailed Product Description

London, John Murray, 1854, 1st edition. 408, 487 pp, 12 color lithographs, 8 woodcuts, 2 maps. 32 pages of publisher's titles dated January 1854 in the rear of vol 1. 

First UK editions are getting scarce; this is the first set we have acquired in many years. Usually they are priced over $1000. This set is rebound in its blue cloth boards, with a red leather title patch with gold letters. This is 3/4 leather bound, spine and corners. The leather has dried somewhat, but the binding is still tight. Scuffing on the leather.  Internally really clean, no foxing, no stains, no writing, not Ex Lib, really Fine. The original cloth on this title was notably fragile and we see more copies rebound than is usually the case with this old a book so a rebind is better than fragile 166 year old cloth. Overall Near Fine. 

One of the most important classics of early Himalayan exploration. Hooker was a botanist, and the first westerner to explore much of Sikkim and make a nearly complete circuit of Kanchenjunga from 1848-50. This book was heavily relied on by future explorers and mountaineers.
 
Sir Joseph Hooker traversed the Central and Eastern Himalayas in 1848, a time when no traveler or naturalist, however bedazzled by its mystique, has ventured forth. Even today, more than a hundred and seventy years later, there is dearth of literature on the region. Mindful and adventur-some, the author paid acute attention to detail. The journals are much more that exhaustive notes of botanical interest, they are packed with appealing anecdotes and significant sociological insights, all sprinkled with a pinch of humor.
 
Joseph Dalton Hooker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Himalayan expedition

Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911) served as assistant surgeon and botanist on James Clark Ross' Antarctic expedition of 1839-43 and published important works on the flora of New Zealand, Tasmania, and Antarctica before setting out on an expedition to India, where he became the first person to make an almost complete circuit of Kangchenjunga (the third highest mountain in the world). His account of the journey is a classic of early Himalayan travel and exploration, containing observations on the people and cultures he encountered, his botanical discoveries (which were also published separately with more scientific detail), and the geology, zoology, meteorology, and geography of the region.

Hooker was a founder of geographical botany and Charles Darwin's closest friend. For twenty years he served as director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, succeeding his father, William Jackson Hooker, and was awarded the highest honours of British science.

On November 11, 1847 Hooker left England for his 3 year long Himalayan expedition; he would be the first European to collect plants in the Himalaya. He received free passage on HMS Sidon, to the Nile and then traveled overland to Suez where he boarded a ship to India. He arrived in Calcutta on January 12, 1848, then traveled by elephant to Mirzapur, up the Ganges by boat to Siliguri and overland by pony to Darjeeling, arriving on April 16, 1848.

Hooker's expedition was based in Darjeeling where he stayed with naturalist Brian Houghton Hodgson. Through Hodgson he met British East India Company representative Archibald Campbell who negotiated Hooker's admission to Sikkim,which was finally approved in 1849. He was briefly taken prisoner bythe Raja of Sikkim. Meanwhile, Hooker wrote to Darwin relaying to him the habits of animals in India, and collected plants in Bengal. He explored with local resident Charles Barnes, the travelled along the Great Runjeet river to its junction with the Tista River and Tonglu mountain in the Singalila range on the border with Nepal. 

Hooker and a sizable party of local assistants departed for eastern Nepal on October 27, 1848. They travelled to Zongri, west over the spurs of Kangchenjunga, and north west along Nepal's passes into Tibet. In April 1849 he planned a longer expedition into Sikkim. Leaving on May 3rd, he travelled north west up the Lachen Valley to the Kongra Lama Pass and then to the Lachoong Pass. Campbell and Hooker were imprisoned by the Dewan of Sikkim when they were travelling towards the Chola Pass in Tibet. A British team was sent to negotiate with the king of Sikkim. However, they were released without any bloodshed and Hooker returned to Darjeeling where he spent January and February of 1850 writing his journals, replacing specimens lost during his detention and planning a journey for his last year in India.

Reluctant to return to Sikkim, and unenthusiastic about travelling in Bhutan, he chose to make his last Himalayan expedition to Sylhet and the Khasi Hills in Assam. He was accompanied by Thomas Thompson, a fellow student from Glasgow University. They left Darjeeling on May 1 1850, then sailed to the Bay of Bengal and travelled overland by elephant to the Khasi Hills and established a headquarters for their studies in Churra where they stayed until December 9, when they began their trip back to England.

Hooker's survey of hitherto unexplored regions, the Himalayan Journals, dedicated to Charles Darwin, was published in 1854.

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