# 40550

[BANKS]. TROIL, Uno von, Archbishop of Uppsala (1746-1803)

[JOSEPH BANKS] Letters on Iceland. (First English edition)

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Containing observations on the civil, literary, ecclesiastical, and natural history; antiquities, volcanos, basaltes, hot springs; customs, dress, manners of the inhabitants, &c. &c. Made, during a voyage undertaken in the year 1772, by Joseph Banks, Esq. P.R.S. assisted by Dr. Solander, F.R.S. Dr. J. Lind, F.R.S. Dr. Uno von Troil, and several other literary and ingenious gentlemen. Written by Uno von Troil, D. D., First Chaplain to his Swedish Majesty, Almoner of the Swedish Orders of Knighthood, and Member of the Academy of Sciences at Stockholm. To which are added the letters of Dr. Ihre and Dr. Bach to the author, concerning the Edda and the Elephantiasis of Iceland: also Professor Bergman’s curious observations and chemical examination of the lava and other substances produced on the island. With a new map of the island, and a representation of the remarkable boiling fountain called by the inhabitants Geyser. London : W. Richardson, J. Robson and N. Conant, 1780. First English edition. Octavo, contemporary full calf, (unidentified) gilt crest to upper and lower boards, spine in compartments with raised bands (joints repaired, head caps and tailcoats restored), red Morocco title-label with gilt lettering; frontispiece engraved plate of Geyser, pp xxvi; 400; with a folding map of Iceland; internally crisp and clean, a very good copy.

After accompanying Cook on his first voyage, Banks and Solander intended to sail on the second circumnavigation but raised objections over the size and capacity of the Resolution and Adventure. Banks had wished to bring a party of sixteen men to accompany his field work, and despite some compromises the Admiralty was in the end simply unable to meet his somewhat arduous demands. Instead, Banks voyaged to the remote and little documented realm of Iceland where a number of important social, scientific and topographical discoveries were recorded. Letters on Iceland was first published in Sweden in 1777; the first English edition appeared in 1780 (London : Richardson, Robson and Conant). It was the first major work in this language to inform a wider audience about Iceland. The second, revised English edition, was published in the same year. The book includes a dramatic representation of Geyser, the famous boiling water phenomenon in the southwest of the country, from which all other geysers derive their name.