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William Edward Parry (1790-1855) spent the early part of his naval career protecting the whale fisheries of Spitzbergen. He was later appointed to several Arctic expeditions, including three in search of the North-West Passage. This 1821 publication, reissued here in the unchanged second edition from the same year, describes the first of these voyages. Although unsuccessful, it provided valuable scientific data and experience that shaped subsequent expeditions. Noted for his care for his men, and his ability to quickly find solutions to difficult problems, Parry realised during this expedition the importance of keeping his explorers occupied during the winter, and started a newspaper and a theatre group. This first expedition established that, contrary to John Ross's 1819 account (also reissued in this series), a westward route through Lancaster Sound did in fact exist. It also began to map the many islands in the region.
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This account, published in 1821, describes the first of Parry's three voyages in search of the North-West Passage. Although unsuccessful, the experience gained, the scientific data collected, and the mapping of the islands in the region made it one of the most important Arctic expeditions up to that time.
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