Journals of the First, Second and Third Voyages for the Discovery …
Journals of the First, Second and Third Voyages for the Discovery …
Journals of the First, Second and Third Voyages for the Discovery …
Journals of the First, Second and Third Voyages for the Discovery …

PARRY, Sir William Edward. 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 ….

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parry's complete polar work, uniformly published and bound

PARRY, Sir William Edward. 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 Captain W.E. Parry. [together with:] 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 … The Sixth Volume. London, John Murray, 1828 and 1829.

Six volumes, 12mo in 8s (151 x 97mm; volume VI a little bit smaller, as issued). Original publisher's cloth with printed paper labels to spines; 13 steel-engraved plates and engraved folding map; cloth a little marked and discoloured in places, corners slightly bumped, one label chipped with loss of author's name; only occasional spotting and offsetting, a very good set, partly unopened, in the rarely seen original binding.
First collected edition of Parry's three voyages in search of a North-West Passage, rarely found with the sixth volume, not intended initially but published a year later and uniformly. In 1819 the young lieutenant W.E. Parry (1790-1855) was appointed to lead an expedition composed of the bomb-vessel HMS Hecla and brig HMS Griper to search for the North-West Passage: 'His instructions, which were necessarily conditional and vague, were to go up the west side of Baffin Bay, through Lancaster Sound (which [Captain John] Ross had reported land-locked), and so, if possible, to Bering Strait. After a clear run westward through Lancaster Sound he reached Melville Island (one of the later named Parry Islands) and wintered there, hoping to resume the voyage in the following season. This aim was frustrated by pack ice' (ODNB). However, the two ships returned safely, arriving in the Thames in November 1820, with a great deal of important scientific material, although Parry's dispatches had reached the Admiralty before him, since they had been sent ahead with a whaler returning to Britain. On 4 November 1820, when his dispatches reached London, Parry 'was promoted to the rank of commander. He received the freedom of his native city [Bath] and many other honours; in the following February he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society and, with the officers and men of the expedition, he received the parliamentary grant previously offered as a reward for those who should first pass the meridian of 110° 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. Many of his young officers (notably James Clark Ross) went on to be famous explorers themselves (loc. cit.).
The success of this first expedition led to a second with HMS Fury and HMS Hecla, which departed Britain in May 1821 and travelled through the Hudson Strait and Foxe Channel, surveyed Repulse Bay, spent a winter at Winter Island and a second winter at Igloolik, and traversed Fury and Hecla Strait to its western end, before returning to England in 1823. In 1824, Parry left Deptford once more with HMS Fury and HMS Hecla, on his third expedition: 'again attempting the passage by Lancaster Sound, he wintered at Port Bowen. On 1 August 1825 both ships were forced ashore in Prince Regent inlet, and, though they were refloated, it was found necessary to abandon the Fury. All the men were put on board the Hecla, but there was no room for the stores, and Parry accordingly returned to England forthwith' (loc. cit.). The narratives of these three major Arctic expeditions were all published separately by John Murray with the authority of the Admiralty in quarto format as Journal of a Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific; Performed in the Years 1819-20, in His Majesty's Ships Hecla and Griper [--A Supplement ...] (1821-1824); Journal of a Second Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage ... Performed in the Years 1821-22-23, in His Majesty's Ships Fury and Hecla [--Appendix ...] (1824-1825); and Journal of a Third Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage ... Performed in the Years 1824-25, in His Majesty's Ships Hecla and Fury (1826). The present compact edition collected the narratives of the three voyages for the first time, and the text was abridged in order to exclude the specialised scientific findings of the expeditions 'which are uninviting to the general reader', but equally sought 'to record every fact and transaction of importance, without omitting the name even of any single Cape, Bay, Strait, or the notice of any accession, however slight, to our general and geographical knowledge' (I, pp. ii-iii). A sixth, supplementary volume, Narrative of an Attempt to Reach the North Pole, which narrated his 1827 expedition to the North Pole -- during which Parry achieved a farthest north of 82°43' -- was issued by Murray in a uniform format in 1829. This journey, here uniformly published together with the three previous Arctic journeys set a new record. 'In April 1826 Parry had proposed to the first lord an attempt to reach the pole from Spitsbergen by travelling with sledge-boats over the ice or through any spaces of open water. The proposal was referred to the Royal Society, on whose approval he was appointed again to the Hecla and sailed from the Nore on 4 April 1827. The ship was secured in Treurenberg Bay and on 21 June the boats started under Parry's command. After an exhausting struggle across wet and broken ice floes they turned back when Parry realized from his observations that the ice was drifting south almost as fast as they could travel north. His furthest north (lat. 82°43ʹ32″ N) stood as a record for nearly fifty years' (ODNB).
Sabin 58869.
Provenance: Contemporary ownership inscription C. H. Cruttwell in ink to front fly-leaves of the first five volumes.

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