A Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Straits, for the Purpose of Exploring a North-East Passage
An admirer of Captain Cook, Otto von Kotzebue (1787–1846) was a leading navigator, in Russian service, circumnavigating the globe three times. His 1815 expedition set out to find a passage through the Arctic, study the coastlines of Kamchatka and Alaska, and explore the Pacific. Among the personnel were the naturalist Chamisso and the artist Choris, who both contributed valuable information to the published account, while Eschscholtz, a physician, collected zoological specimens. Originally published in 1821 in Russian and German, this English translation, presented with many plates and charts, appeared the same year and formed part of Darwin's library aboard the Beagle. Volume 1 details the expedition's inception and presents the journal of the voyage, with observations of Cape Horn, Polynesia, Siberia, Alaska, California, and Hawaii. Meteorological details are regularly recorded, but this account is notable for its vivid descriptions of the peoples encountered.