An excellent complete set of Parry’s three voyages in search of the North-west Passage together with his fourth voyage to the North Pole.
Parry did not get as far as the Bering Straits in his expedition, but he reached Melville Island, a point which even 75 years later, with the aid of steam, had not been passed. It was not until 1852 that McClure, coming from the opposite direction, and reaching a point on the north of Banks Land, which Parry had seen and named, was able to connect the two positions by passing on foot across ice, showing positively that the North West Passage was not blocked by land.
The second and third voyages were not as successful as the first, but the second voyage contains important information on Eskimo life, and the third voyage collected additional scientific information about the Arctic region of North America.
Parry’s fourth voyage was important for its use of sledge-boats in attempting to reach the North Pole via Spitzbergen, as recommended by William Scoresby, Jr. Rather than use dogs Parry experimented with reindeer, only to find them unable to move his very heavy sledge boats across difficult ice.
First edition of voyages 2-4, second edition of first voyage, four volumes, 4to. First work with 16 engraved and aquatint plates and 4 folding charts; second work with 31 engraved and aquatint plates and 9 folding charts; third work with 11 engraved plates and charts (2 folding); fourth work with 6 engraved plates and 1 folding chart; some light foxing. Uniformly bound in nineteenth century calf gilt.
Provenance: Northern Light Board with small stamp to title versos and gilt stamp to spines.
Sabin 558860; 58864; 58867; 58868.
Stock ID: 82612