BROOKE, Arthur de Capell

A Winter in Lapland and Sweden,

London: John Murray. 1827.

First edition. 4to (270x210mm). pp. xvi, 612. Frontispiece and twenty one lithographed plates and eight lithographed vignettes, folding map. Full calf, spine lavishly decorated in gilt, red morocco label to spine, lettered in gilt. Save for a few marks in near fine condition. Internally there is some foxing and spotting, heavy in places but overall a nice copy of a groundbreaking travel book.
Arthur de Capell Brooke, from a land-owning family and the son of a baronet resigned his army commission after the Battle of Waterloo and embarked on a life of adventure and travel. In May 1820, he began his first serious journey. This was an overland trip through Sweden and Norway to the Northern Cape. He was almost certainly the first Englishman to make this trek, Northern Scandinavia being generally regarded as terra incognita. Brooke settled for a while in Fuglenaes and got to know the Laplanders, learning to speak Norwegian and some Lapp. On his return to England, he founded the Raleigh Club where explorers and travellers met to exchange stories and eat the food of the various exotic places they had visited. Brooke was also, in 1830, one of the founders of the Royal Geographical Society which later absorbed his Raleigh Club. Although he seems to have loved the cold north, writing three books on this part of the world, he clearly felt the need to thaw out occasionally as, in 1831, he published Sketches in Spain and Morocco.

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