London: John Murray, 1824. 8vo. 2 vol. xix, 370; vi, 399 pp. Second Edition. Complete with half title, large folding frontispiece map, and 3 additional large folding plates. Half calf and marbled boards, spine and extremities rubbed; lightly foxed on endpapers, text somewhat toned. Overall, a good copy from the library of Edwin C. Jellett (1860-1929), an American author well known for his various books about Germantown, Pennsyvania, with his book-label on the paste-down. Item #15333
Second edition (as stated on the title page) of Franklin’s harrowing 5,500 mile expedition to the North that resulted in starvation, cannibalism, and murder. Tasked with charting the geography from the mouth of the Coppermine River to the far east of North America, Franklin’s journey was doomed from the start. As a result of poor planning, slow progress, and bad luck, the expedition was fraught with disaster: supplies were not readily available, winter came early, and food was so scarce that one of the crew eventually turned to murder and cannibalism as a result of the miserable, cold conditions. A total of nine men died due to exposure, starvation, or at the hand of their one deranged companion.
Franklin (1786-1847) was a noted naval office, explorer, and author, most famous for his expeditions charting the geography and latitude and longitude of the Arctic Circle. He took part in multiple historic voyages and naval battles, including the Battle of Copenhagen (1801), a failed expedition to circumnavigate Australia (1801), and the Battle of Trafalgar (1805) aboard the HMS Bellerophon. Franklin took part in several voyages in search of the Northwest Passage, and ultimately went missing during his journey of 1845 with the rest of his crew dying of starvation and disease.