Journal of a Tour in Iceland, in the Summer of 1809
Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865) was an eminent British botanist, best known for expanding and developing the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew into a leading centre of botanic research and conservation. At the age of nineteen he undertook an expedition to Iceland, his first outside Britain. Unfortunately, all his specimens and notes were destroyed in a fire on the return voyage (described in Volume 1), but he was able, with the help of the notes made by Sir Joseph Banks on an earlier expedition, to write this account. His work was first published privately in 1811, but a second edition was published in 1813 and is reproduced here. Volume 1 gives a brief history of Iceland, before Hooker begins his detailed observations of the people and topography, and the flora and fauna he found. His accounts of the lives of the people of the island are of particular interest.
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