London. John Murray. 1838. 8vo, 22.3cm, (tall copy), the first edition, vii,456p., with 12 lithographed plates & a rear folding map, some transfer outline facing the plates, in the original blind decorated dark blue green cloth, gilt spine titles, spine lightly faded (titles clear), a fine copy in the publisher,s cloth, rare in fine condition. (cgc). Item #40372
A.B. 850. T.P.L. 2033. Sabin 2617. Story p44. Back was a British naval officer and artist who made many Arctic sketches. He gained his first experience of the north in 1818 while serving under John Franklin in the unsuccessful polar expedition of Capt. David Buchan. He was with Franklin on the Arctic coastal survey of 1818-22 from the Coppermine River, and on an expedition (1825-7) by way of the Macken-zie River, when he worked under Sir John Richardson on the eastward survey. In 1833 Back was given command of a privately financed but government assisted expedition to search overland for Sir John Ross who had left England in 1828. This was his second expedition and he had been instructed to complete the coastal survey from the west coast of Hudson Bay to Point Turnagain on the Kent Peninsula, the easterly limit reached on Franklin's survey. The vessel was severely damaged by ice off Hudson Bay where she was held for ten months, and Back was forced to return to England. Back is said to have learned watercolour techniques while a prisoner of war in France (1809-14), and was the most important Arctic topographer of his day.