SPRY, W.J.J. The Cruise of Her Majesty's Ship "Challenger." Voyages over many Seas, Scenes in Many Lands. Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1876.
8vo. Original green cloth, gilt; pp. xviii, 388, 24 (publisher's catalogue); wood-engraved illustrations on plates and in the text, one folding map; a little spotted internally, but still an attractive copy in the original pictorial cloth.
First edition. Spry was a member of the scientific staff of the oceanographic expedition and circumnavigation aboard the Challenger. 'Nares commanded this influential expedition, the first to undertake systematic investigation of the deep ocean for scientific purposes, for two years. His officers were all naval surveyors, and there was also a team of civilian scientists, led by Charles Wyville Thomson, on board. The methods employed to sample the life and conditions of the deep sea owed much to surveying techniques recently developed in connection with submarine telegraphy, and the expedition's work had practical as well as scientific objectives. The first year was spent in the Atlantic. Early in 1874, between Cape Town and Australia, the Challenger made a southerly detour, calling at Marion, Kerguelen, and Heard islands, and continuing to 66°40ʹ S, 78°22ʹ E, before being turned back by ice - being the first steam vessel to cross the Antarctic circle. The dredging of glaciated rock fragments in the deep-sea muds helped in the revival of interest in geographical exploration of Antarctic regions towards the end of the century' (ODNB). His account of the voyage was very popular, going through many editions. This, the first edition, has become rather uncommon.