PHIPPS, Constantine John.

A Voyage towards the North Pole


A Voyage towards the North Pole
undertaken by His Majesty’s Command 1773.
London, W. Bowyer and J. Nichols for J. Nourse, 1774

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“This expedition of the Racehorse and Carcass, undertaken for the purpose of discovering a route to India through the northern Polar Regions was blocked by pack ice north of Spitzbergen. The valuable appendix gives geographical and meteorological observations, zoological and botanical records, accounts of the distillation of fresh water from the sea, and astronomical observations. The voyage is perhaps better remembered for the presence of a young Horatio Nelson, as midshipman aboard the Carcass, and his encounter with a polar bear” (Hill).


First edition. 4to, viii, 253 pp., with 11 folding tables (included in the pagination) and 15 double-page or folding engraved plates (including 3 maps), bound without directions to binder; occasional foxing, uneven top-edge to p. 95, a little marginal worming pp. 245-253 (pp. 251-253 repaired); contemporary British mottled calf, skilfully rebacked in modern calf, spine gilt in compartments, gilt red morocco lettering-piece in one, others with anchor-motif centre-tool in gilt, borders and board-edges recently roll-tooled in gilt; a few small scuffs and marks, nonetheless a very good copy.

Provenance: a few neat marginal annotations in an early hand – William Brodie of Brodie (armorial bookplate to upper pastedown).


Books on Ice, 1.10; Hill, 207.


Stock ID: 97560