London: John Murray [printed by C. Roworth], 1828. First Edition. Hardcover. First edition of all three journals with the supplementary volume, complete in six volumes (five volumes plus sixth volume published in 1829), twenty-fourmo size, 1778 pp. Very good +. Item #CNJS06
Sir William Edward Parry (1790-1855) entered the Royal Navy at the young age of thirteen serving with Admiral Cornwallis; seven years later he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. After the end of the War of 1812 with the United States, England commenced a search for a Northwest Passage to the Pacific, and in early 1819 Lieutenant Parry was placed in command of an expedition to search for such, aboard the Hecla and in company with the Griper.
While unsuccessful in its ultimate goal, Parry's expedition was the most successful to that date in the long quest for the Northwest Passage, being the first to pass the meridian of 110 degrees W within the Arctic circle. "Parry's care for his men, his solution of many of the problems of wintering in the ice, and his meticulous scientific work set a pattern of Arctic exploration for a generation" (n.b., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online). Interestingly, on this journey they even carried as part of their supplies food in tinned cans - an invention so recent that as yet there existed no can openers.
This set comprised of the "Journals of the First, Second and Third Voyages for the Discovery of A North-West Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, In 1819-20-21-22-23-24-25, in His Majesty's Ships Hecla, Griper and Fury, Under the Orders of Capt. W.E. Parry, R.N. F.R.S. and Commander of the Expedition" - complete in five volumes, published in 1828 (the first editions of each voyage were originally published in 1821, 1824, and 1826 respectively). "The Sixth Volume" being the "Narrative of An Attempt to Reach the North Pole, In Boats Fitted for the Purpose, and Attached to His Majesty's Ship Hecla, in the Year 1827, Under the Command of Capt. W.E. Parry, R.N. F.R.S. and Commander of the Expedition", published in 1829 (the first edition originally published in 1828).
A wonderful set in a matching custom binding with a steel-engraving of Parry as the frontis in Volume I plus two additional steel-engravings, two steel-engravings in Volumes II, IV, V, and VI, with Volume II having one steel engraving and one folding map, "General Chart Exhibiting the Discoveries of Captain Parry in the Arctic Regions..."
___DESCRIPTION: All volumes bound in green half-leather over marbled boards, the spines with two red leather spine labels with gilt lettering, the other compartments richly decorated in gilt, red speckled edges, marbled endpapers matching the boards, Volume I with a steel-engraved frontispiece after a portrait by J. Jackson, R.A., an additional eleven steel engravings (several with the original tissue guards) and one folding map throughout the set, the map with four folds measuring approximately 10" long when extended; twenty-fourmo size (5.25" by 3.75"), pagination: Volume I, [2 pp., title page and verso with printer's statement] [i]-iv ("Advertisement"), [2 pp., "Directions for Placing the Plates"] [v] vi-viii ("Contents"),  2-283, [284, printer's statement]; Volume II, [i-iii] iv,  2-270; Volume III, [i-iii] iv-viii, [Map],  2-312; Volume IV, [i-iii] iv-viii,  2-295, [296, printer's statement]; Volume V, [i-iii] iv-vi,  2-330; and Volume VI, [i-v] vi-xxxv [xxxvi, blank],  2-211 [212, printer's statement].
___CONDITION: Volumes a bit better than very good, the leather soft and supple (neither powdering nor crumbling), straight corners with minimal rubbing, strong square text blocks, the hinges mostly solid with a few just starting but all boards firmly attached, the interiors are clean and bright, and free of prior ownership markings, Volume I with pencilled markings from a prior bookseller on the verso of the front free endpaper (what appears to be a code, a price which has been crossed through, and a notation "the 6th - or supplementary volume is exceedingly dear"); some overall light rubbing to the leather mostly at the joints and overall light rubbing to the marbled paper boards, a few spots of foxing, and a few spots of light wear to the board edges; overall a lovely, complete set of the compilation of Parry's journals of the three voyages.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
___Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB, and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.