Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…. Charles WILKES.
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…

Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition…
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842…

Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1845.

Six volumes in five; imperial octavo, with a portrait, 64 plates and nine maps in the text volumes, and the complete atlas bound at the end of the fifth volume; numerous vignettes in the text; without the half-titles, an unusually fine set in a handsome contemporary binding of half black morocco with marbled boards, spines gilt in compartments, top edges gilt.

The great Antarctic expedition, exploring widely over five years

A superb set of the splendid first public edition, the first generally available narrative of the great American naval exploring expedition, one of the three great Antarctic voyages of the 1840s. The explorations of Wilkes, along with the English under Ross and the French under Dumont d'Urville, form the basis for today's territorial claims, and together established the knowledge of the frozen continent on which all subsequent expeditions built. Wilkes's six ships ranged from Tierra del Fuego, Chile and Peru, to Australia and the Pacific, and explored some 1500 miles of the Antarctic coast, 'thereby proving the existence of the seventh continent. Equally important, the Expedition collected and described natural history specimens from all parts of the globe - specimens that eventually came to the fledgling Smithsonian Institution, making it the National Museum of the United States. In a wider sense, the Expedition led to the emergence of the United States as a naval and scientific power with worldwide interests…' (Magnificent Voyagers, p. 9).

A superb set of the splendid first public edition, the first generally available narrative of the great American naval exploring expedition, one of the three great Antarctic voyages of the 1840s. The explorations of Wilkes, along with the English under Ross and the French under Dumont d'Urville, form the basis for today's territorial claims, and together established the knowledge of the frozen continent on which all subsequent expeditions built. Wilkes's six ships ranged from Tierra del Fuego, Chile and Peru, to Australia and the Pacific, and explored some 1500 miles of the Antarctic coast, 'thereby proving the existence of the seventh continent. Equally important, the Expedition collected and described natural history specimens from all parts of the globe - specimens that eventually came to the fledgling Smithsonian Institution, making it the National Museum of the United States. In a wider sense, the Expedition led to the emergence of the United States as a naval and scientific power with worldwide interests…' (Magnificent Voyagers, p. 9).

Among the expedition's great achievements was the detailed study of the flora and fauna of the many countries visited, the scientists making frequent and long excursions into the interiors. The expedition explored the South Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, the Northwest Coast, California, Singapore, the Cape of Good Hope and St. Helena, whilst the greatest achievement was the expedition into the Antarctic in the winter of 1839-40.

This is the desirable first octavo edition, of which only a thousand copies were printed, the first edition to be made generally available, preceded only by official and unofficial quarto editions printed in just 100 and 150 copies respectively which make only very occasional appearances on the market. The official edition was published by Congress, but Wilkes retained the copyright, "to protect my reputation, being unwilling that a garbled edition should be printed by others". He was happy with the present edition, writing to a Congressional committee in January 1845 that "the imperial 8vo. has been got up in beautiful style, and stereotyped - the paper and execution fully equal, and, in some respects as a library and reading book, to be preferred to the 4to. edition…".

Later editions, including the second 1845 octavo edition, are smaller in size, do not include the fine steel-engravings found in the present edition, and are generally of inferior quality.

Haskell, 2B, 17B; Rosove, 353.B1; Magnificent Voyagers. The U.S. Exploring Expedition, ed. H.J. Viola and C. Margolis, Smithsonian Institution, 1985.

Price (AUD): $13,650.00  other currencies     Ref: #3705977

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