The Arctic Whaling Journals of William Scoresby the Younger / Volume I / The Voyages of 1811, 1812 and 1813: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Arctic Whaling Journals of William Scoresby the Younger / Volume I / The Voyages of 1811, 1812 and 1813

1st Edition

By William Scoresby

Edited by C. Ian Jackson


310 pages

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Hardback: 9780904180824
pub: 2004-02-28
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William Scoresby (1789-1857) made his first voyage in the whaler Resolution from Whitby to the Greenland Sea, west of Spitsbergen, in 1800. Three years later he was formally apprenticed to his father and another three years saw him promoted to chief officer. On 5 October 1810, his twenty-first birthday, ’the earliest at which, by reason of age, I could legally hold a command’, his father moved to Greenock and another ship, relinquishing the Resolution to his son. Another ten years would see the publication of what has been described as ’one of the most remarkable books in the English language’, his two-volume An Account of the Arctic Regions, with a History and Description of the Northern Whale-Fishery (1820). Even before he took command of the Resolution, two developments had occurred that, when combined with his seamanship and whaling skill, were to make that book ’the foundation stone of Arctic science’ and cause the journals of his annual voyages to be remarkable accounts in their own right. First, Scoresby had studied, during two brief winters at the University of Edinburgh. Teachers such as John Playfair and Robert Jameson had made him aware of the scientific importance of his arctic experience. Together with Sir Joseph Banks, the president of the Royal Society, they encouraged him to observe, experiment and record, and provided opportunities for his data to be published. Secondly, this encouragement, and the study habits he developed at Edinburgh, led Scoresby to expand the logs of his arctic voyages into lengthy journals that contained scientific records and social and religious comment as well as detailed descriptions of navigation and whaling.

About the Author/Editor

Ian Jackson took part in the Canadian International Geophysical Year expedition to northern Ellesmere Island in 1957-58 and then taught at the London School of Economics and worked for the Canadian Government in Ottawa. He is a former Executive Director of Sigma Xi in New Haven, Connecticut, and is an Associate Fellow of Timothy Dwight College, Yale University. His publications include 'Letters from the 49th Parallel, 1857-1873' for the Champlain Society (Toronto, 2000).

About the Series

Hakluyt Society, Third Series

Routledge is pleased to be the publisher for the Hakluyt Society.

The Hakluyt Society has for its object the advancement of knowledge and education, particularly in relation to the understanding of world history. The society publishes scholarly editions of primary sources on the 'Voyages and Travels' undertaken by individuals from many parts of the globe. These address the geography, ethnology and natural history of the regions visited, covering all continents and every period over the last two thousand years. Such texts, many previously available only in manuscript or in unedited publications in languages other than English, are the essential records of the stages of inter-continental and inter-cultural encounter.

Established in 1846, the Society has to date published over 350 volumes. All editions are in English. Although a substantial number of the Society's past editions relate to British ventures, with documentary sources in English, the majority concern non-British enterprises and are based on texts in languages other than English. Material originally written in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French or Dutch has regularly appeared, material in Russian, Greek, Latin, Ethiopic, Chinese, Persian or Arabic occasionally.

All editions contain an introduction and scholarly annotation, giving both the general reader and the student a degree of assistance in understanding the material and providing guidance on the relevance of the episodes described, within the context of global development and world history. Volumes are often generously furnished with maps and contemporary illustrations.

Information about the Society may be obtained from the Administrative Assistant at the following address:

Hakluyt Society, c/o Map Library, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DG, UK

Email: [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General