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The Arctic journal of captain Henry Wemyss Feilden, R. A. : the naturalist in H.M.S. Alert, 1875-1876

Author: Trevor Harvey Levere; Hakluyt Society,
Publisher: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge for The Hakluyt Society, 2019. ©2019
Series: Works issued by the Hakluyt Society, 3rd ser., no. 35.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The British Arctic Expedition of 1875-6 was the first major British naval expedition to the high Arctic where science was almost as important as geographical exploration. There were hopes that the expedition might find the hypothetical open polar sea and with it the longed-for North-west Passage, and it did reach the highest northern latitude to date. The Royal Society compiled instructions for the expedition, and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Diaries
Additional Physical Format: ebook version :
Named Person: H W Feilden; H W Feilden; Henry Wemyss Feilden
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Trevor Harvey Levere; Hakluyt Society,
ISBN: 9780367356378 0367356376
OCLC Number: 1129256996
Description: xxxi, 400 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 26 cm.
Contents: List of Maps and Illustrations Preface and Acknowledgements Abbreviations and Symbols Weights, Measurements and Currency INTRODUCTION: HENRY WEMYSS FEILDEN, THE NATURALIST IN HMS ALERT, 1875 61. Prelude and Preparation 2. Henry Wemyss Feilden 3. Instructions for the Expedition 4. Outward Bound 5. Winter Quarters 6. Sledging in Earnest 7. Out of the Ice and Homeward Bound 8. Home again: Science, Politics and the Military 9. Geology and Specimens 10. Palaeobotany 11. Zoology 12. Coda EDITORIAL PRACTICE. THE ARCTIC JOURNAL OF CAPTAIN HENRY WEMYSS FEILDEN, RA.Prelude. 1 February 15 April 1875. Part I. Outward Bound. 20 May-1 September 1875. Part II. Winter Quarters. 2 September 1875 1 April 1876. Part III. Sledging in Earnest. 2 April 9 June 1876. Part IV. Sledging, Natural History, and Scurvy. 11 June 25 July 1876. Part V. Out of the Ice and Homeward Bound. 26 July 28 October 1876. Part VI. Science, Politics, and the Military. 29 October 1876 7 January 1787. APPENDICESAppendix A. Letters from Henry Chichester Hart, naturalist in HMS Discovery, to Feilden, received by Feilden in HMS Alert, and inserted by him in his journal. Appendix B. Letter from Richard W. Coppinger, surgeon in HMS Discovery, to Feilden, Repulse Bay. Appendix C. Chorus: 'The Palaeocrystic Sea'. Appendix D. Flora and Fauna in Feilden's Journal. Appendix E. List of enclosures in Feilden's journal at the Royal Geographical SocietyAppendix F. H.M.S. ALERT. Winter Routine. BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX
Series Title: Works issued by the Hakluyt Society, 3rd ser., no. 35.
Responsibility: edited by Trevor H. Levere.

Abstract:

The British Arctic Expedition of 1875-6 was the first major British naval expedition to the high Arctic where science was almost as important as geographical exploration. There were hopes that the expedition might find the hypothetical open polar sea and with it the longed-for North-west Passage, and it did reach the highest northern latitude to date. The Royal Society compiled instructions for the expedition, and selected two full-time naturalists (an unusual naval concession to science), of whom one, Henry Wemyss Feilden, proved a worthy choice.Feilden was a soldier, who fought in most of the wars in his lifetime, including the American Civil War, on the Confederate side. On board HMS Alert, he kept a daily journal, a record important for its scientific content, but also as a view of the expedition as seen by a soldier, revealing admiration and appreciation for his naval colleagues; he performed whatever tasks were given to him, including the rescue of returning sledge parties stricken by scurvy. He also did a remarkably comprehensive job in mapping the geology of Smith Sound; some of his work, on the Cape Rawson Beds, was the most reliable until the 1950s. He was an all-round naturalist, and a particularly fine geologist and ornithologist. He was not just a collector; he pondered the significance of his findings within the context of the best modern science of his day: in zoology, Charles Darwin on evolution; in botany, Hooker on phytogeography, and in geology, Charles Lyell's system. He illustrated his journal with his own sketches, and also enclosed the printed programmes of popular entertainments held on the ship, and verses for birthdays and sledging (there was a printing press onboard).

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