London: John Murray, Richard Bentley and Josiah Fisher, 1829- 1837, 4 vols, 4to, (275 x 200mm), Contemporary red half morocco gilt, with 110 engraved plates of which 72 are hand-coloured, a very nice large uncut copy.
Scarce Complete Copy of the First Edition of this Rare Work on the Natural History of the Arctic.
Sir John Richardson (1787–1865), surgeon, naturalist and Arctic explorer, went on Sir John Franklin’s first two Arctic expeditions as ship’s doctor and naturalist, and made observations and collected a large number of plant and animal specimens from the Canadian Arctic.
On his return to England after the second expedition he began to write this four-volume work of natural history, first published between 1829 and 1837. A volume is dedicated to each of the classes of mammal, bird, fish and insect, which are found in the Canadian Arctic. This work is an interesting example of pre-Darwinian natural history, full of detailed descriptions of the appearance, anatomy and behaviour of the different species. Volume 2 was first published in 1831 and focuses on the species of birds found in the Canadian Arctic. It was co-authored with naturalist and illustrator William Swainson (1789–1855) and contains many illustrations.