Pennant, Thomas (1726-1798). Tour in Scotland, and Voyage to the Hebrides; MDCCLXXII. Chester: Printed by John Monk, 1774
The first outsider to visit Staffa, and to take visual notice of its striking basalt formations, was Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), in 1772. Banks had recently returned from Captain Cooks first voyage, and after a disagreement with Cook, set off on his own expedition to Iceland, with stops in the Hebrides. Banks was particularly taken with a large basalt cavern that the locals called Fingals Cave. He had brought an artist along, who made drawings of the cave, of Staffa, and of other basalt formations nearby.
Thomas Pennant made his own tour of the Hebrides slightly later, and for his published account of his travels, Banks allowed him to use five of his drawings. We see here the engraving of Fingals Cave. Pennant also inserted in his text the complete description by Banks of his trip to Staffa and Fingals cave. This was fortunate, because Banks never did get around to publishing his own account of his visit to the Hebrides.