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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Montreal: Lovell et Gibson, 1848. Hardcover. First edition. This volume presents biographical portraits of the important Sachem and Sagamore Indian chiefs among the Algonquians or other Native American tribes of North America of the time. The book includes an index to the mythological history of the continent. The author, François-Maximilien Bibaud (1823 – 1887) was a Canadian lawyer, professor of law, and extensive chronicler. He was born in Montreal, Quebec. His research and historical publications are just as important as his legal writings. These historical works, primarily encyclopedic, chronological, and biographical, represent an original contribution because of the attention that some of them give to the Indians. Bibaud was a knowledgeable bibliographer with a preoccupation for the great names; his works are considered landmarks in the history of intellectual development in French Canada. This work by him is considered to have greatly contributed to an understanding of Canadian history [Dictionary of Canadian Biography]. Bound in three quarter red leather with marbled paper boards and endpapers. Leather is rubbed, scuffed, and lightly bumped. Paper boards are scuffed. Interior pages are generally clean and bright with some darkening to fore-edge. Very good condition. Octavo. 309 pages plus errata slip affixed to rear free endpaper. NATIVEAM/050521. Very Good.
Montreal: Les Amis de l'Histoire, 1969. Hardcover. François-Xavier Garneau (1809 – 1866) was a nineteenth-century French Canadian notary, poet, civil servant and liberal who wrote a history between 1845-1848 of the French Canadian nation titled Histoire du Canada [Wikipedia]. A handsome set bound in red leatherette with a white maple leaf ornament on the front covers. Gilt titling to spine and gilt top edges. Black and white illustrations throughout and red ribbon bookmarks. Some of the white maple leaves have light soiling as does the fore-edge of Volume I, otherwise in very good condition. Volume I: 402 pages; Volume II: 344 pages; Volume III: 297 pages; Volume IV: 300 pages; Volume V: 296 pages; Volume VI: 350 pages; CANADA/072121. Very Good.
Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1860. Hardcover. First American edition. This classic book is about Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition that was one of many to search for the elusive Northwest Passage, a sea route through the Arctic connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Franklin’s two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, became trapped in sea ice and were abandoned in 1848. None of the 129 man crew survived, and the ships were believed to be lost. This is an account of one of numerous expeditions to search for Franklin’s ships and crew. The well-preserved wreckage of HMS Erebus was found on September 7, 2014. Bound in original brown cloth with gilt illustration of ship to front cover and gilt titling to spine. Spotting, wear, and bumping. Slightly cocked. Interior pages generally clean with light aging to margins. Very good. Includes two fold-out maps, fold-out facsimile of report on missing ships, and some black and white illustrations. Measures 5.5 x 8.5 inches. 375 pages. Very Good.