London: Colburn and Co., 1852. Hardcover. A scarce copy of this engaging relict from the expedition under the command of Captain Austin that sailed from the Thames on May 4, 1850 in search of Sir John Franklin and his missing men. Franklin’s ill-fated 1845 voyage was in search of the elusive Northwest Passage, and ultimately he and his crew did not survive. Captain Austin’s expedition comprising four ships became locked in ice in the Arctic waters for eleven months, finally arriving back in England in October. This work is not a narrative of that expedition nor an actual journal. It is a fascinating and sometimes humorous collection of articles written by the officers and men for an onboard monthly newsletter called the “Aurora Borealis.” The articles are described in the preface as possessing a “delicacy of imagination and a power of perception.” The newspaper was one of many expedition resources used during the trip to provide both employment and amusement. There was a reading room and classes, a theater, periods of exercise and games, and more. Bound in contemporary three-quarter brown leather with brown and cream marbled paper boards. Leather is chipped and scraped, and bottom of spine is darkened and abraded. The rear hinge is cracked, but has been reinforced. Marbled endpapers with small chip to front and scrape and partially cracked rear hinge. Title page and verso are chipped and have book stamp of Headlee’s Book Exchange. A few early pages are present, but loose. Nice color frontispiece, black & white title page vignette, and a few text engravings. Interior pages are clean with light aging to margins. Despite flaws still a desirable copy. POLAR/050321. Very Good.
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London: Richard Bentley, 1849. Hardcover. First edition of this work, which remains one of the few first person accounts of the fur trade in the early 19th century. It is still considered a major source for historians. John McLean (c. 1799–1890) was a Scotsman who emigrated to British North America, where he became a fur-trapper, trader, explorer, grocer, banker, newspaperman, clerk, and author. He traveled by foot and canoe from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back, becoming one of the chief traders of the Hudson's Bay Company. He is also remembered as the first person of European descent to discover Churchill Falls on Canada's Churchill River and sometimes mistakenly credited as the first to cross the Labrador Peninsula [Wikipedia]. Bound in quarter brown leather with black pebbled leather covers. Brown leather is rubbed and chipped, covers have bumped corners. Free front endpapers in both volumes are loose as is the title page in volume II. Some raggedness to the fore edge of a few pages in each volume not affecting text. Bookplate of the Earl of Orrery affixed to front pastedown of each volume. Very good condition. Small octavo. Volume I: 308 pages; Volume II: 328 pages. Very Good.
[Toronto]: George A. Walker, . Hardcover. Copy A of ten lettered copies done for private distribution. Signed by George Walker, Justin Trudeau, George Elliott Clarke, and Tom Smart. This book was originally a limited edition of 15 signed and numbered copies. A stunning book and fitting tribute to its subject, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who was one of Canada’s most charismatic - and polarizing - politicians. His tenures as Prime Minister during the 1970s and 80s were marked by conflict and crisis but also by a sense of nationalism, the development of multiculturalism and Canadian pride. He is known for invoking the War Measures Act in response to FLQ terrorism during the October Crisis; for introducing the Official Languages Act to improve the position of francophones in Canada; and, perhaps most memorably, for the patriation of the Canadian constitution and the establishment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Trudeau: La Vie en Rose pays tribute to the life and career of this influential Canadian. In a series of eighty wood engravings, George Walker documents Trudeau’s political achievements, events of cultural significance and famous friends while also capturing Trudeau’s confidence, passion and irreverence. Presented without captions and open to interpretation in any language, it is a testament to the multilingual culture of Canada and a celebration of the man whose political legacy has had a profound influence on the definition of Canadian culture. Trudeau’s influence has now been mirrored by his son Justin Trudeau, the also charismatic current Prime Minister of Canada. He wrote a moving tribute to his father, included here, taken from his eulogy at his father’s 2000 funeral. Also included is an eighty item chronology that corresponds to the engravings. The engravings are hand printed on 250 Rising Stonehenge 100% rag archival paper with text and headings in Bembo and Bernhard types. It is bound in full red leather with title in gilt to spine and a rose in gilt to front cover. It is housed in a clamshell in quarter red leather and beige cloth covers. An engraving of Trudeau is inset on the front cover. In fine condition. Book size: 6.25 X 8” X 2.5 inches. Unpaginated. [232 pages printed recto] PRI/110716. Fine.