Across Iceland


This book is an account of a journey across central Iceland, from the northeast to the southwest, made in the summer of 1900 by a party of five men and one woman. The author and expedition leader, William Bisiker, was an English geographer associated with the Oxford School of Geography. The group included Arthur W. Hill, a noted botanist and later director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the geologist Herbert H. Thomas, later a noted paleobiologist and archaeologist. In addition to the overland journey, the book recounts a visit to the Faroe Islands, travels in western Iceland, and a journey by sea along the coast and into the fjords of the northwest, north, and east coasts of the island. It describes visits to isolated farms, small settlements, and churches, as well as rugged physical features including rivers of quicksand, long stretches of moraine, geysers, and various lava formations. A chapter on the capital of Reykjavik deals with the political structure of Iceland, at the time a dependency of Denmark, but which had been granted home rule that was exercised through the ancient Icelandic parliament, the Althing. The book, published in 1902, includes many photographs, four maps, and an appendix by Hill on plants collected in Iceland and the Faroes. Hill observed, among other things, that algae were found living in Iceland’s hot springs at temperatures of up to 85º C. (185º F.).

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Edward Arnold, London


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xi, 236 pages : including frontispiece, illustrations, 2 folded maps ; 23 centimeters

Last updated: September 18, 2015