A PRESENTATION COPY OF A RARE WORK BY THE "CASSANDRA OF ARCTIC EXPLORATION." (1855)

RICHARD KING

The Franklin Expedition From First to Last.

Date: 1855

The Franklin Expedition From First to Last. John Churchill, 1855. 8vo. pp. xxxviii, 3-224; 3 charts, one in text, and 2 plates. Original cloth binding, spine gilt, slight wear to spine, nevertheless a very good example of a notoriously uncommon work. Presentation copy from King to Dr. Norton Shaw, Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society. Having participated in the mission to rescue Arctic explorer John Ross in the 1830s , explorer and obstetrician, Dr. Richard King was well qualified to suggest where the missing expedition of Sir John Franklin could be found. King had expressed doubts about the expedition even before Franklin had set out and warned that Franklin was being sent out "to become the nucleus of an iceberg". These warnings, like many of his opinions, were ignored and when in 1855 he suggested that Franklin's party could be found near the mouth of the Great Fish River, the animosity of the Admiralty and the Royal Geographical Society only increased. The fact that the missing party would finally be found by M'Clintock in 1859 near the mouth of the Great Fish River in the spot King had suggested four years earlier, did little to revive his reputation. King, however, deserves to be remembered, not only for his remarkable prescience with regard to Franklin, but also for several notable contributions to Arctic geography. Using his own observations of Inuit culture, King was able to produce an accurate sketch map of the Arctic which contrasted with the Navy's fatefully flawed charts , and which enabled him to predict the location of the Franklin expedition as well as identifying the existence of Queen Maud Gulf and the Prince of Wales Strait.

£12500

Offered by Michael S Kemp Bookseller