Narratives of Voyages Towards the North-West, in Search of a Passage to Cathay and India, 1496 to 1631: With Selections from the Early Records of the Honourable the East India Company and from Mss. in the British Museum

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The publications of the Hakluyt Society (founded in 1846) made available edited (and sometimes translated) early accounts of exploration. The first series, which ran from 1847 to 1899, consists of 100 books containing published or previously unpublished works by authors from Christopher Columbus to Sir Francis Drake, and covering voyages to the New World, to China and Japan, to Russia and to Africa and India. Volume 5, published in 1849 and edited by Thomas Rundall, contains a collection of accounts relating to the search for the 'North-West Passage' - the hoped-for route to the Far East and India through the scattered islands and freezing seas to the north of Canada. Narratives of attempts by famous explorers such as Cabot, Frobisher, Hudson and Baffin as well as lesser known figures are accompanied by an editorial introduction and conclusion, and by explanatory notes.