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Writing Geographical Exploration: Thomas James and the Northwest Passage, 1631-33

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 06/04/2015 - 8:27am

Wayne K. D. Davies
978-1-55238-481-7 (Institutional PDF)
$49.95 CAD / $56.95 USD
344 pages
15 figures/illustrations/maps, index
Northern Lights
March 2004


About the Book: 

Writing Geographical Exploration summarizes the various factors that influence the writing and interpretation of exploration narratives, demonstrating the limitations of the assumption that there is a direct relationship between what the explorer saw and what the text describes. Davies offers a revisionist evaluation of Captain Thomas James, who spent eighteen months in search of the Northwest Passage in the 1630s, to illustrate how modern textual analysis can enrich the appreciation of a traveller's account. Though James's work has been dismissed in the modern period, his work was highly regarded in previous centuries by scientist Robert Boyle and poet Samuel Coleridge. James was not a first-rank explorer, but he was an able navigator and leader, a perceptive scientific observer, and a master author who produced a thrilling tale of adventure that should occupy a more prominent place in exploration writing and history, literary theory, and post-modern geography.

About the Author(s): 

Wayne Davies has written over a hundred academic essays and authored or edited nine books in a wide variety of research areas, including urban geography and the methods of geography. He is professor emeritus in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary.