TROIL, Uno von. Letters on Iceland: Containing Observations on the Civil, Literary, Ecclestiastical, and Natural History; Antiquities, Volcanos, Basaltes, Hot Springs; Customs, Dress, Manners of the Inhabitants, &c. &c. ... To Which are Added the Letters of Dr. Ihre and Dr. Bach to the Author, Concerning the Edda and the Elephantiasis of Iceland. London, W. Richardson for J. Robson,, 1780.
8vo. Contemporary full tree calf, spine ornamented in glit and with two gilt-stamped red lettering-pieces; pp. xxvi, 400, with engraved frontispiece and folding engraved map (one short closed marginal tear); hinges a little worn, front hinge weakened, offsetting from frontispiece to title, last leaf with small repaired portion at inner margin, very occasionally minor spotting or browning; provenance: from Lord Palmerston's library in his town house in Hanover Square with his armorial engraved bookplate inside front cover. Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston (1784–1865) was an influential politician, twice prime minister and notorious womanizer.
First English edition. Von Troil was Chaplain to the Swedish King. As his opening letter explains, Joseph Banks and Solander had been preparing to accompany Captain James Cook on his second voyage, but were forced to withdraw. The team that had been assembled in expectation of joining Cook therefore sailed instead to Iceland. Troil's letters contain details of the expedition's observations on Hecla and other volcanoes, geysers, Icelandic culture and related matters. According to a letter published in the French edition of this work, the English translation was made from the 1779 German edition by the daughter of Johann Forster, Cook's principal naturalist on his second voyage.
Fiske Collection IcC9T839; Cox I.185.