Travels In The Island Of Iceland, During The Summer Of The Year MDCCCX
By Sir George Steuart Mackenzie
Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable & Company. 1812, 2nd Edition. 4to. pp. xv, [2 leaves], 481. with half-title. 2 engraved maps (1 folding), 7 engraved plates (1 folding, 1 of music), 8 hand-coloured aquatints, & 15 engravings in the text. 4 folding tables, Index, Directions to Binders. 19th century half leather with marbled boards and matching end leaves, leather covers ruled in bright gilt, ornate spine detail and lettering in bright gilt. Second Edition. An unusually clean copy in excellent condition. This edition has been slightly revised and a short account of the Revolution of 1809 added to the Appendix. Abbey, Travel, 160. Prideaux pp. 232 & 343. Tooley 314.
Mackenzie was a distinguished mineralogist and president of the physical class of the Royal Society, traveled to Iceland in 1810 in the company of Drs. Henry Holland and Richard Bright. The present work is the joint production of the three men, Mackenzie contributing the narrative of the voyage and travels, and the chapters on mineralogy, rural economy and commerce, Dr. Bright the sections on zoology and botany, and Dr. Holland the chapters on literature, diseases, and government, laws and religion. “Although the scientific portions of the book have long been superseded, it contains much information of permanent interest on the social and economic condition of Iceland.” (DNB) The mineralogical collections brought back from the expedition were spoken of with great admiration by Sir Charles Lyell. The fine hand-coloured aquatints of scenery and costume by J. Clark and text engravings and plates by R. Scott and E. Mitchell are based on original sketches by the three travelers, the majority drawn by Mackenzie.