The Mariner’s Chronicle, of Shipwrecks, Fires, Famines and other Disasters at Sea; Containing Narratives of the Most Noted Calamities and Providential Deliverances Which Have Resulted from Maritime Enterprise, both in Europe and America; Together with an Account of the Whale fishery, Sketches of Nautical Life, Steam Boat Disasters, &c
Charles Gaylord, ( 1834), Boston
Two volumes. viii-335; vi-336 pp. b/w engravings.
This is something of an odd duck. The publisher is Charles Gaylord and, although this set shows up on Worldcat, its available nowhere in the trade, nor has it been for years. Huntress says, I have not seen this collection. So thats that. (Huntress 260C.) Sixty wood engravings enliven eighty narratives, mostly of shipwrecks, despite the title. An illustrated three page account of the loss of the Essex puts in a mandatory appearance here. There is a story about a monkey running loose on a ship, several about pirates – with dialog! – one on Ross expedition, and an intriguing story of Fingals cave. The most interesting aspect of these two books to me, however, is their illustrated covers – printed paper on boards – that have somehow survived the centuries. Both covers are dated 1835. Both title pages, of which these covers are otherwise duplicates, are dated 1834. Mysteries within mysteries! Bindings are intact, with paper spine labels still present, but quite fragile. Texts are tanned and foxed, but not egregiously so. Scarce and intriguing.