London: Colburn and Co., 1852. Hardcover. A scarce copy of this engaging compilation 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.
Canadian and Polar History
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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.
Victoria, BC: Prescott Publishing Co, 1963. Hardcover. First Edition, First Printing. Includes 40 pages of illustrations and a bibliography, maps, and an index. Green cloth boars with gilt title to spine. Includes two typed, signed, laid-in letters from the author to Doubleday regarding publishing books. Occasional spots of soiling / smudge marks, but clean and bright overall. A few spots to covers and minor wear to corners and edges of boards. 557 pages. CAN/041520. 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.
London: John Murray, 1825. Hardcover. First Edition of this engrossing account of Captain Lyon's explorations in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to find Repulse Bay. George Francis Lyon (1796 – 1832) was an English naval officer and explorer of Africa and the Arctic. While not having a particularly distinguished career, he is remembered for the entertaining journals he kept and for the pencil drawings he completed in the Arctic; this information was useful to later expeditions. This book offers an excellent example of such journals and illustrations. In 1824, he was given command of HMS Griper, a ship that had proved itself a poor Arctic vessel on William Edward Parry's 1819 expedition. His goal was to sail to Hudson Bay and then north through Roes Welcome Sound to Repulse Bay and then go overland through unknown country to reach John Franklin's furthest east at Point Turnagain on the Kent Peninsula. The Inuit had told Parry that there was salt water three days' walk to the west, but this was apparently the Gulf of Boothia. Hudson Bay was unusually ice-filled, and on 1 September 1824, near Cape Fullerton, just west of the entrance to Roes Welcome Sound, a storm drove the ship onto a rock or iceberg. All hands expected the ship to sink but when the gale died down it was still afloat. On 12 September, Griper was forced to anchor offshore in a gale with heavy seas and snow. It lost its anchor cables and the masts and rigging were badly damaged. Lyon took three weeks to work the hulk out of Hudson Bay. Arriving at Spithead without anchors the ship only stopped when it fouled a three-decker's mooring cables. Unsurprisingly, he never had another command of a ship [Wikipedia]. Bound in three quarter brown leather with brown and red marbled paper. Gilt titling and ship ornaments to spine compartments. Leather is rubbed and worn along spine and top and bottom edges. Top of spine is starting to split but still firm. Interior pages are generally very good. Some occasional foxing and some offsetting from the fold-out map and the seven plates. Book plate of Paul Warren affixed to front pastedown. There is a loose bookplate of William P. Sheffield that apparently had been attached to the free front endpaper as there is glue residue there. There is a small square at bottom of another free front endpaper with text erased. A very nice copy of this relatively scarce narrative of Lyon's voyage. Pages 1 - 144 text; Pages 147-198 appendix, which includes navigation information and a botanical appendix. TRAVEL/123120. Very Good.
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.
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.
New York and Auburn: Miller, Orton, & Co., 1857. Hardcover. First Edition. Bound in the original brown cloth boards with gilt title to spine and embossed designs to both boards. Faded gilt illustration of a ship to spine. Chipping and fraying to book cloth along spine ends and corners. Lacks front free endpaper. Previous owners signature to second free endpaper, dating from the late 1800s. More modern blue pen marking to top of title page and top of front pastedown, which appear to be call numbers; however, this is the only evidence of an ex-library marking. Foxing, smudge marks, and occasional spots of soiling throughout - mostly to margins. Slight roll to spine and bumped corners. Includes two frontispieces as well as numerous full page engravings. 517 pages plus 5 pages of ads. ARC/010721. Very Good.
[Toronto]: George A. Walker, . Hardcover. Number 35 of 39 copies signed and numbered by George Walker. This book is a wordless narrative “written” with 109 wood engravings. It follows the life of Canadian landscape painter Tom Thomson until his mysterious death in Algonquin Park in 1917 at the age of thirty-nine. Tom Thomson is one of the most famous nonmembers of the Canadian Group of Seven painters. He actually died before the group was formally named, but has always been included. His early death occurred in wartime when many men his age and younger were losing their lives. His death has troubled many people as much for the mystery of the circumstances as for the tragedy of his brief passionate life. In this book Walker responds to the creative life of Thomson in the language Thomson spoke most eloquently, the grammar and vocabulary of pictures. Walker builds his wordless story by breaking down the colorful paintings and life of Thomson into light and dark, the black and white of a picture text. Walker has also imagined Thomson’s happiness by the lakesides, his loves and passion for the landscape of Algonquin Park and Thomson’s life and work in Toronto, where Walker lives and works. Canadian art historian and author Tom Smart has written the introduction to this work. The beautiful black and white wood engravings are hand printed on Rising Stonehenge 100% rag archival paper. The book is bound in cream cloth with brown title label to spine and engraving of Thomson inset on front cover. Housed in a clamshell box covered by the same beige cloth as the book, with brown spine label and engraving of Thomson inset on front cover. In fine condition. The book is 6.25 x 8 x 2.5 inches. Unpaginated. [232 pages printed recto] PRI/110716. Fine.
[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.
London: Henry Colburn, publisher, 1846. Hardcover. Second edition, revised. A nice copy of this recount of the author's travels across Canada and the United States. Volume 1 concerns Canada and Volume 2 covers the United States. Both volumes offer interesting anecdotes and observations from the various places Warburton visits. Bound in three quarter brown leather with marbled paper boards. Light bumping and scraping. Gilt tooling to covers and spine with six compartments with title label and volume number. Interior pages are generally clean and bright. Foxing and small tears to both title pages. Volume 2 title page has bookseller stamp, which was erased in Volume 1. Missing frontispiece. Otherwise in very good condition. Small octavo. Volume 1: 318 pages; Volume 2:368 pages. TRAV/011421. Very Good.