THE FIRST RUSSIAN CIRCUMNAVIGATION: 1823 FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF KRUZENSHTERN'S VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD IN THE YEARS 1803-1806
KRUZENSHTERN, Ivan. Voyage Round the World, in the years 1803, 1804, 1805, and 1806, by Order of His Imperial Majesty Alexander the First… London: John Murray, 1813. Two volumes in one. Quarto, 20th-century full crimson straight-grain morocco gilt, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $18,500.
First edition in English of Kruzenshtern's chronicle of the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe, with folding map and two hand-colored aquatint frontispieces. Handsomely bound in full morocco-gilt.
Captain Kruzenshtern was appointed to command this first Russian round-the-world expedition, bringing with him a brilliant corps of officers, including Lisiansky, Langsdorff, and Kotzebue. "The expedition was an attempt to open relations with Nippon and the Sandwich Islands, to facilitate trade in South America, to examine California for a possible colony, and make a thorough study and repot of the Northwest coast, its trade and its future. Kruzenshtern was troubled by Russian dependence on England for naval personnel and training; he proposed this voyage as a means of forming a Russian-trained navy in the course of obtaining furs and trading them for Chinese goods… The importance of this work is due to its discoveries and the rectifications of charts that were made, especially in the North Pacific and on the northwest coast of America… The introduction is particularly important and interesting because of the information it contains respecting the state of Russian commerce during the eighteenth century, the Russian voyages and discoveries in the Northern Ocean, and the Russian fur trade" (Hill). Originally published in Russian at St. Petersburg, 1809-13; this edition translated from the contemporaneous German edition by Richard Hoppner. Hill 952. Abbey, Travel 1. Arctic Bibliography 9381. Howes K271. Sabin 38331. Bookseller ticket.
Marginal paper repair to Volume II title page; text generally clean. Front board slightly bowed, with some discoloration. A near-fine, handsome copy of this scarce title.