Miers was invited by Lord Cochrane to help develop the rich mineral wealth of newly independent Chile. On arriving, Miers quickly became convinced that the local mining methods would make the venture unprofitable. “Few business decisions in history can have proved so ill judged, for by mid-century Chilean copper was being extracted so economically that it was accounting for almost a third of world output.
Miers was, however, essentially a scientist, and may not have been cut out for managing a large industrial enterprise; he was soon investigating the local natural history instead. The flora, then still little known, attracted him in particular and he drew and dissected the plants he collected. By 1825 his wide-ranging curiosity had produced material enough for a substantial book and that June he returned to London to arrange for its publication, using the few months’ stay also to make the acquaintance of several leading botanists. His Travels in Chile was to bring him a lasting reputation as the foremost authority on the geography and way of life of that region.” (ODNB).
First edition. 2 volumes, 8vo., xv, 494; vii, 536 pp., 2 large folding map frontispieces, 1 folding map, 19 views and plans (2 folding), contemporary maroon morocco gilt, covers with gilt geometric border, spines in five compartments, gilt lettered direct in second and fourth, others richly gilt, raised bands, all edges gilt, a fine set.
Provenance: Eton College leaving present, Easter 1845, James King from G. Rupell (?), inscription.
Stock ID: 90497