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The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II   By: (1832-1901)

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THE VOYAGE OF THE VEGA ROUND ASIA AND EUROPE. VOL. I.

[Illustration: OSCAR, II ]

THE VOYAGE OF THE VEGA ROUND ASIA AND EUROPE WITH A HISTORICAL REVIEW OF PREVIOUS JOURNEYS ALONG THE NORTH COAST OF THE OLD WORLD

BY A.E. NORDENSKIÖLD

TRANSLATED BY ALEXANDER LESLIE

WITH FIVE STEEL PORTRAITS, NUMEROUS MAPS, AND ILLUSTRATIONS

IN TWO VOLUMES VOL. I

London MACMILLAN AND CO. 1881

TO HIS MAJESTY KING OSCAR II. THE HIGH PROTECTOR OF THE VEGA EXPEDITION THIS SKETCH OF THE VOYAGE HE SO MAGNANIMOUSLY AND GENEROUSLY PROMOTED IS WITH THE DEEPEST GRATITUDE MOST HUMBLY DEDICATED

BY A.E. NORDENSKIÖLD.

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.

In the work now published I have, along with the sketch of the voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, of the natural conditions of the north coast of Siberia, of the animal and vegetable life prevailing there, and of the peoples with whom we came in contact in the course of our journey, endeavoured to give a review, as complete as space permitted, of previous exploratory voyages to the Asiatic Polar Sea. It would have been very ungrateful on my part if I had not referred at some length to our predecessors, who with indescribable struggles and difficulties and generally with the sacrifice of health and life paved the way along which we advanced, made possible the victory we achieved. In this way besides the work itself has gained a much needed variety, for nearly all the narratives of the older North East voyages contain in abundance what a sketch of our adventures has not to offer; for many readers perhaps expect to find in a book such as this accounts of dangers and misfortunes of a thousand sorts by land and sea. May the contrast which thus becomes apparent between the difficulties our predecessors had to contend with and those which the Vega met with during her voyage incite to new exploratory expeditions to the sea, which now, for the first time, has been ploughed by the keel of a sea going vessel, and conduce to dissipate a prejudice which for centuries has kept the most extensive cultivable territory on the globe shut out from the great Oceans of the World.

The work is furnished with numerous maps and illustrations, and is provided with accurate references to sources of geographical information. For this I am indebted both to the liberal conception which my publisher, Herr FRANS BEIJER, formed of the way in which the work should be executed, and the assistance I have received while it was passing through the press from Herr E.W. Dahlgren, amanuensis at the Royal Library, for which it is a pleasant duty publicly to offer them my hearty thanks.

A.E. NORDENSKIÖLD.

STOCKHOLM, 8th October , 1881.

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

Having been honoured by a request from Baron Nordenskiöld that I would undertake the translation of the work in which he gives an account of the voyage by which the North East Passage was at last achieved, and Asia and Europe circumnavigated for the first time, I have done my best to reproduce in English the sense of the Swedish original as faithfully as possible, and at the same time to preserve the style of the author as far as the varying idioms of the two languages permit.

I have to thank two ladies for the help they kindly gave me in reading proofs, and my friend Herr GUSTAF LINDSTRÖM, for valuable assistance rendered in various ways.

Where not otherwise indicated, temperature is stated in degrees of the Centigrade or Celsius thermometer. Longitude is invariably reckoned from the meridian of Greenwich.

Where distance is stated in miles without qualification, the miles are Swedish (one of which is equal to 6.64 English miles), except at page 372, Vol. I., where the geographical square miles are German, each equal to sixteen English geographical square miles.

ALEX. LESLIE.

CHERRYVALE, ABERDEEN, 24th November , 1881.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

Typographical errors corrected, and alternative spellings noticed during the preparation of this text has been placed at the end... Continue reading book >>




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