Berthold Seemann (1825-71), a German-born botanist and traveller, published several scientific books and articles. He also composed music and in the 1860s he wrote three plays which enjoyed some success in Germany. In 1846 Seemann was appointed naturalist to the British ship HMS Herald, which was engaged in a hydrographical survey of the Pacific. In this two-volume work, published in 1853, the author recounts how he joined the Herald in Panama in 1847 and remained on board until 1851. The ship explored almost all of the West Coast of America and also sailed north into the Arctic seas. Volume 1 describes Seemann's discoveries on the Isthmus of Panama while awaiting the arrival of his ship, and Volume 2 deals with the Herald's voyage to the Arctic, as part of the effort by the British Navy to find traces of Sir John Franklin's expedition, and its return voyage via Ascension Island.