Arctic Miscellanies. A Souvenir of the Late Polar Search. by the Officers and Seamen of the Expedition

London: Colburn and Co., 1852. Hardcover. A scarce copy of this engaging account of 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 boards. Leather is chipped and scraped, and bottom of spine is darkened and abraded. 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. Nice color frontispiece, b&w 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.

Item #35125

Price: $1,200.00