1st Edition

Sir Joseph Banks, Iceland and the North Atlantic 1772-1820 / Journals, Letters and Documents

Edited By Anna Agnarsdóttir Copyright 2016
    708 Pages
    by Hakluyt Society

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    Sir Joseph Banks was one of the great figures of Georgian England, best known for participating as naturalist in Cook's Endeavour voyage (1768-71), as a patron of science and as the longest-serving President of the Royal Society (1778-1820). This volume brings together all Banks's papers concerning Iceland and the North Atlantic, scattered in repositories in Britain, the United States, Australia and Denmark, and most published here for the first time. A detailed introduction places them in historical context.

    Contents: Preface; Introduction: Banks and Iceland; Textual introduction; Introduction to the journals; The Iceland journal of Sir Joseph Banks I: from 12 July 1772 to 6 September 1772; The Iceland journal of Sir Joseph Banks II; The Iceland journal of James Roberts; Calendar of letters and documents; The Iceland correspondence and documents of Sir Joseph Banks, 1772-1820; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.


    Anna Agnarsdóttir is Professor of History at the University of Iceland. She was the President of the Historical Society in Iceland 2005-2011, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities 2002-2004, a member of the University Senate 2008-2012, and most recently Director of the Institute of History 2012-2015. She is a member of the Societas scientiarum Islandica, a Trustee of The Banks Archive Project and a national representative for The Hakluyt Society.

    "Ash and cod have long dominated foreigners' notions of Iceland. While other countries' ships fished the well-stocked seas, naturalists found the island's glacial ice and volcanic fire fascinating. First-hand information was scarce; some even wrote the island's natural history without ever going there. The first British survey was led by Joseph Banks in 1772. At a key moment in the invention of romantic aesthetics and in North Atlantic politics, Banks' journals and letters offer a gripping story of science and travel. They are now available in the Hakluyt Society's fine edition." - Simon Schaffer, History Today