An American in Iceland: An Account of Its Scenery, People, and History, with a Description of Its Millennial Celebration in August 1874; with Notes on the Orkney, Shetland and Faroe Islands, and the Eruption of 1875

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Samuel Kneeland (1821-88), educated at Harvard and in Paris as a doctor, served as an army surgeon during the American Civil War. After the war, he returned to lecturing on physiology, and expanded his academic interests to zoology and to natural history in general. His expedition to Iceland was fuelled by a fascination with volcanoes, volcanic islands and the flora and fauna that abounded on them, but Kneeland was as much a cultural and historical tourist as a scientist, enjoying the millennial celebration of the first settlement by Norwegians, the spectacle of geyser eruptions, and the Norse history and traditions of the Icelanders. This 1876 work offers a chronological account of his party's travels through the Scottish islands and around Iceland, bringing a very individual touch to a description of the country, its culture and its outstanding landscapes.