Glocester: Printed by R. Raikes for T. Jefferys, Geographer to His Majesty, London, 1764. ,280,pp. plus seven plates, including two folding maps. Quarto. Handsomely bound to style in three- quarter calf and marbled boards, spine gilt extra, leather label. Light foxing and toning; light scattered soiling. John Carter Brown duplicate, with his 19th-century rubber stamp on titlepage. Very good. Item #WRCAM41479
The first English and second chronological edition, an abridged translation by James Grieve from the original Russian, first published in 1755. "Contains one of the earliest descriptions of Russian America and the Kurile Islands" - Howes. "Krasheninnikov, a young student of the Academy of Sciences, was sent to join Bering's second expedition as an assistant to Steller. Steller and he spent some time exploring Kamchatka and making notes for a subsequent report. Steller's notes were available to Krasheninnikov, who used them in the preparation of the present work, along with his own observations. In the preface which Krasheninnikov proposed to write to his work, he was to give information as to how he happened to be sent to Kamchatka, also what part of Steller's work was included by him in his DESCRIPTION, etc. Unfortunately, Krasheninnikov died before the printing of his DESCRIPTION was completed. In the text of the latter, however, Krasheninnikov often mentioned Steller as the source of his information..." - Lada-Mocarski. Steller's own account of the voyage with Bering was not published until 1793.
The second part of Krasheninnikov's narrative is devoted to the botanical and natural history aspects of the region, including many valuable observations, comprising what is generally considered to be the pioneering natural history work concerning Alaska and Kamchatka. The attractive plates are some of the earliest depictions of the natives and their habitat. Lada-Mocarski states that the first edition "is a very rare book...and difficult to secure." SABIN 38301. TOURVILLE 2532. HILL 948. LADA-MOCARSKI 12 (note). HOWES K265, "aa." See TAXONOMIC LITERATURE V:881-882 for data on Steller.