No Ordinary Journey: John Rae, Arctic Explorer, 1813-1893

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 116 pages
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No Ordinary Journey marks the centenary in 1993 of the death of Dr John Rae. Rae was a remarkable Arctic traveller, and the first to uncover evidence of the fate of the missing Franklin expedition - which embroiled him in argument with those reluctant to accept the testimony of Inuit. Rae's rugged childhood in Orkney, Scotland, can be seen as a preparation for the challenges he later faced in the Canadian Arctic. In Canada, George Simpson, Governor in Chief of the Hudson Bay territories, was one of the first to recognize his abilities. After joining the Hudson's Bay Company, Rae travelled thousands of miles in the Arctic, often alone. Taught by the Indians and Inuit how to survive in extreme conditions, he explored, surveyed and mapped, and collected natural history and ethnographic material. He was a man of striking independence, ingenuity and courage, but also a controversial figure in Victorian eyes. Until now there has been little recognition of the importance and diversity of Rae's achievements. No Ordinary Journey: John Rae, Arctic Explorer 1813-1893 brings together four authors, Ian Bunyan, Jenni Calder, Dale Idiens and Bryce Wilson, from the National Museums of Scotland and Orkney Museums Service, who examine different aspects of Rae's life and achievement in the context of nineteenth-century Arctic exploration.
  

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Contents

Early Arctic Exploration Ian Bunyan
13
Rae in the Arctic Jenni Colder
45
Rae and the Native Canadians Dale Idiens
67
Rae as Collector and Ethnographer Dale Idiens
93
Some Leading Figures of Arctic Exploration 181760
113
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