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Exhibition about visit of Banks and Solander to Iceland, 1772


In June 1772, Joseph Banks withdrew from James Cook’s intended Second Voyage to the Pacific, following the rejection of Banks’s plans to have the ship altered to suit his own purposes.
The conventional Grand Tour to Italy and Greece was not for him, and his abiding interest in natural history dictated that a botanical and zoological collecting expedition was required.

Banks decided upon going to Iceland explaining in the journal he kept

I... saw no place at all within the Compass of my time so likely to furnish me with an opportunity as Iceland, a countrey which from its being in some measure the property of a danish trading company has been visited but seldom & never at all by any good naturalist to my knowledge the whole face of the countrey new to the Botanist & Zoologist as well as the many Volcanoes with which it is said to abound made it very desirable to Explore.


An exhibition about Joseph Banks's time there with Daniel Solander and a large team is being held in the National and University Library of Iceland from 3 June to 20 November 2022 .

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