PHIPPS, Constantine John.
A Voyage towards The North Pole:
undertaken by His Majesty's Command, 1773.
First Dublin edition, one year after the London first in quarto. Phipps, the second Baron Mulgrave (1744–1792), entered the navy in 1760. He got a taste for northern waters with a visit to Newfoundland in 1766 with his old schoolfriend Joseph Banks. After Daines Barrington had suggested to the Royal Society the possibility that in the open sea the Arctic Ocean might be largely free of ice, Phipps obtained the king’s sanction and sailed for the North Pole with two ships. Among the crews were the Nigerian author Olaudah Equiano and a young Horatio Nelson as midshipman. The latter’s famous encounter with a polar bear occurred on this voyage. Phipps was the first to describe the polar bear as a species distinct from other bears and gave it the name Ursus maritimus. The expedition marks an important stage in the progress from exploration to research: much of the book is taken up with detailed appendices on its scientific work; “An important addition to nautical research which does honour to its author…” (Sabin)
Octavo (209 132 mm). Contemporary calf, red morocco label to the spine. Folding track-chart as frontispiece, 2 folding plates, and 11 folding tables, bound with the half-title. A little rubbed, particularly at the corners, minor worming at the endpapers, light toning, contemporary inked annotation to the title page, and occasional pencilled marginalia to the introduction, but remains a very good copy. TR AM
Bibliography: Books on Ice 1.10; Howgego P82; Sabin 62572.Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary