The Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of Thule

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An amazing journey through myth and history in search of a lost world
To the ancients, Thule was a land beyond the edge of the maps, a northerly dreamland. It was a mystery for thousands of years, long thought to be an icy Eden, a place of exquisite beauty and unequaled purity. The lost world of Thule captured the imagination of poets, artists, explorers, and, most recently, writer Joanna Kavenna, who set out on a harrowing and exhilarating voyage of discovery. Her journey took her to Shetland, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Greenland, and Svalbard-into the Arctic wilderness, over frozen seas and ice mountains-in search of this most haunting of northern places.

As she travels, Kavenna finds traces of earlier writers and seekers: Richard Francis Burton, William Morris, Anthony Trollope, and Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen. But she comes to discover that a darkness also inhabits Thule. She finds ice-bound relics of the cold war. She unearths the story of the Thule Society, an offshoot of the Nazi party, devoted to the "purity" of the Nordic peoples. Part diary, part detective trail, "The Ice Museum" is a wonder voyage through landscape and myth, reminiscent of Lucy Jago's "The Northern Lights" and Barry Lopez's National Book Award-winning "Arctic Dreams."

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User Review  - RealLifeReading - LibraryThing

“Some said ‘Toolay’, some said ‘Thoolay’, a very few said ‘Thool’. Poets rhymed Thule with newly, truly and unruly, but never, it seemed with drool.” The Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of ... Read full review

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User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

Thule was the name given to a semi-mythical northern land once reached by Pytheas, the ancient traveler. Joanna Kavenna seeks out all the places in the Northern Hemisphere that have been known as or ... Read full review



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About the author (2006)

JOANNA KAVENNA is the author of "The Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of Thule," She has written for "The New York Review of Books," "The Guardian," and "The Times Literary Supplement," among other publications.

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