BURTON, Sir Richard F. Ultima Thule; or, a Summer in Iceland. London, William P. Nimmo, 1875.
Two volumes, 8vo. Original blue cloth, upper cover with vignette in gilt and black incorporating a map of Iceland and other Icelandic motifs, lettered in gilt to spine; pp. xix, 380, 16 (advertisements); vii, 408; 5 tinted lithosgraphic plates, 2 folding maps in colour, one double-page facsimile, wood-engravings including some full page in the text; minimal rubbig to extremities, front fly-leaves cut short, occasioanal light toning or spotting, else a very good set.
First edition. Burton had the opportunity to visit Iceland in 1872 when he was commissioned to write a report on the sulphur mines there. As a seasoned traveller, Burton found the widely held views concerning the horrors of the Icelandic landscape risible. Indeed, the present work contains slighting comments about Mount Hecla, the geysers and other famed Icelandic phenomena. Nonetheless Ultima Thule displays Burton's ability to understand a culture within a short space of time and the book makes a significant contribution to the literature on Iceland.
Penzer pp. 91-2; Casada 67; Fiske Collection p. 82.