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Writing Arctic Disaster
Authorship and Exploration

£31.99

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: November 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107565128

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About the Authors
  • How did the Victorian fixation on the disastrous John Franklin expedition transform our understanding of the Northwest Passage and the Arctic? Today we still tend to see the Arctic and the Northwest Passage through nineteenth-century perspectives, which focused on the discoveries of individual explorers, their illustrated books, visual culture, imperial ambitions, and high-profile disasters. However, the farther back one looks, the more striking the differences appear in how Arctic exploration was envisioned. Writing Arctic Disaster uncovers a wide range of exploration cultures: from the manuscripts of secretive corporations like the Hudson's Bay Company, to the nationalist Admiralty and its innovative illustrated books, to the searches for and exhibits of disaster relics in the Victorian era. This innovative study reveals the dangerous afterlife of this Victorian conflation of exploration and disaster, in the geopolitical significance accruing around the 2014 discovery of Franklin's ship Erebus in the Northwest Passage.

    • Shows how twenty-first-century geopolitical and cultural debates about the Arctic and Northwest Passage continue to draw on the Victorian legacy of exploration
    • Provides an interdisciplinary study of print and manuscript texts alongside artefact collections and exhibits, culturally hybrid objects, maps and graffiti
    • Reveals how the John Franklin disaster of 1845 continues to shape our ideas of what Arctic exploration is and was
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    Awards

    • Short-listed, 2016 Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize, Society for Literature, Science and the Arts

    Reviews & endorsements

    'In Writing Arctic Disaster, Craciun seeks to historicize the Victorian obsession with the man, the expedition, and its various inscriptions, uncovering in the process the changing approaches to Arctic voyaging and authorship that shaped European understanding of the region from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. … Craciun's approach is richly interdisciplinary.' Katherine Parker, Eighteenth Century Studies

    'Every so often a book comes along which is strikingly original. Adriana Craciun's Writing Arctic Disaster is one of these. … In both seeing through the eyes of the past as if it were contemporary and in her exploration and analysis of subsequent cultural memory, Craciun's work stands out. This is one amazing book.' Murray Pittock, The BARS Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107565128
    • length: 326 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 39 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Northwest passages and exploration cultures
    1. Arctic archives: Victorian relics, sites, collections
    2. Exploration, publication, and inscription in the Age of Murray
    3. Building upon disaster: adventurers in Hudson Bay
    4. The famous mark of our discovery: social authorship and arctic inscriptions
    5. Broken lands and lost relics: the Victorian rediscovery of the early modern Arctic
    Epilogue: Franklin found and lost.

  • Author

    Adriana Craciun, University of California, Riverside
    Adriana Craciun is Presidential Chair at the University of California, Riverside. Her books include Fatal Women of Romanticism (Cambridge, 2003), British Women Writers and the French Revolution: Citizens of the World (2005), The Material Cultures of Enlightenment Arts and Sciences (with Simon Schaffer, forthcoming in 2015), and several collections and editions.

    Awards

    • Short-listed, 2016 Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize, Society for Literature, Science and the Arts

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