THE DISCOVERY OF THE MAGNETIC NORTH POLE
ROSS, John. Narrative of a Second Voyage in Search of a North-West Passage, and of a Residence in the Arctic Regions… Including the Reports of Commander, now Captain, James Clark Ross and the Discovery of the Northern Magnetic Pole. London: A.W. Webster, 1835. Thick quarto, original patterned blue cloth rebacked with original spine laid down. $2500.
First edition, large-paper copy, of Ross’ Narrative, with 30 full-page charts, copper plates and lithographs (eight with vivid original hand-coloring), and a large color-outlined folding map of the region.
"In 1829, frustrated by the lack of progress [in search of a northwest passage], a philanthropic gin distiller, Felix Booth, sponsored John Ross's second expedition. With his nephew James Clark Ross as second-in-command, Ross sailed down Prince Regent Sound in search of an opening to the west. The two Rosses mapped James Ross Strait and parts of King William Island and in 1831 James located the Magnetic North Pole. The Ross expedition then disappeared in the ice-bound Gulf of Boothia until 1833" (Goetzman & Williams, 186). A "wonderfully interesting narrative of human endurance, triumphing over the most awful peril and suffering. The sumptuous printing which makes every page a picture has even its luxury enhanced by the splendid steel engravings and lithographs. The former are so excellent as to be worthy of preservation as gems of art" (Field 1321). "Let no man imagine that he knows what a present is worth," Ross wrote, "until he has found what happiness can be produced by a blue bead, a yellow button, a needle, or a piece of an old iron hoop" (Lehane, 113). Without the supplementary appendix volume. Artic Bibliography 14866. Stam 2.6. Abbey Travel II:636. Sabin 73381. Staton & Tremaine 1808. Hill I:261.
Text generally fine, foxing to some plates, expert repair along edge of large folding map. Soiling to original cloth, spine panel a bit toned. An extremely good copy.