Tracing the  Connected Narrative: Arctic Exploration in British Print Culture, 1818-1860

Tracing the Connected Narrative: Arctic Exploration in British Print Culture, 1818-1860

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By Janice Cavell
Studies in Book and Print Culture
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2008
World Rights
352 Pages
Cloth
ISBN 9780802092809
Published Dec 2008
Online discount: 25%
 $68.00    $51.00
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442691698
Published Dec 2008
Online discount: 24%
Full purchase $66.00
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Description
Author

By the 1850s, journalists and readers alike perceived Britain's search for the Northwest Passage as an ongoing story in the literary sense. Because this 'story' appeared, like so many nineteenth-century novels, in a series of installments in periodicals and reviews, it gained an appeal similar to that of fiction. Tracing the Connected Narrative examines written representations of nineteenth-century British expeditions to the Canadian Arctic. It places Arctic narratives in the broader context of the print culture of their time, especially periodical literature, which played an important role in shaping the public's understanding of Arctic exploration.

Janice Cavell uncovers similarities between the presentation of exploration reports in periodicals and the serialized fiction that, she argues, predisposed readers to take an interest in the prolonged quest for the Northwest Passage. Cavell examines the same parallel in relation to the famous disappearance and subsequent search for the Franklin expedition. After the fate of Sir John Franklin had finally been revealed, the Illustrated London News printed a list of earlier articles on the missing expedition, suggesting that the public might wish to re-read them in order to 'trace the connected narrative' of this chapter in the Arctic story. Through extensive research and reference to new archival material, Cavell undertakes this task and, in the process, recaptures and examines the experience of nineteenth-century readers.

Janice Cavell is a historian in the Historical Section of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.