London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1819-1822. Mixed Editions. First edition in English of De Humboldt's landmark scientific expedition from Spain to South American and Cuba from 1799-1804. Humboldt (1769-1859) "was perhaps one of the greatest scholars of all time; a prodigious figure, hailed in his time as one of the most famous men in Europe, second only to Napoleon" (Howgego, Encyclopedia of Exploration to 1800, p.528). It was arranged by the Spanish minister of state that Humboldt and French botanist Aimé Bonpland could travel anywhere in the South American continent in exchange for reporting back on mineral deposits. His travels with Bonpland during a five year period took him through Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana, Angostura, Cuba, Peru, and Colombia. Personal Narrative was originally published in Paris between 1815-1831, and translated into English by Helen Maria Williams. A monumental work, and a direct influence on the writings of Darwin, Thoreau, Muir, and Haeckel. Sabin 33770; Howgego H120 & H121. Item #3934
Books I & II (Third Edition); Books III & IV (Second Edition); Books V-VIII (First Edition). Eight books bound into five octavo volumes (23cm); late 19th-century marbled paper and tan calf, spines in six compartments, with five raised bands, burgundy and dark brown title labels, with floral decorations stamped in gilt to compartments; marbled endpapers; top edges gilt; liv,293,; 294,; [iv],575,; [iv],574,2 ads; [iv],512; [iv],513-865,[1 errata]pp, with all five folding maps and one chart bound into Vol.1. Light wear to spine ends and extremities, faint, scattered foxing to preliminary and terminal leaves, and plates; hinges sound; Very Good+.