Published between 1839 and 1852, this two-volume work records the contribution of William Scoresby (1789-1857) to magnetic science, a field he considered one of 'grandeur'. The result of laborious investigations into magnetism and (with James Prescott Joule) electromagnetism, Scoresby's work was particularly concerned with improving the accuracy of ships' compasses. A whaler, scientist and clergyman, he epitomised the contribution which could be made to exploration and science by provincial merchant mariners - men often less celebrated than their counterparts in the Royal Navy or in metropolitan learned societies. In addition to his pioneering work on magnetic science, Scoresby furthered knowledge of Arctic meteorology, oceanography and geography. Volume 2 records Scoresby's investigations into the problem of navigating on iron-built ships, the section on shipwrecks proving just how pressing this was.