Academic journal article Geography

Lines in the Ice: Exploring the Roof of the World

Academic journal article Geography

Lines in the Ice: Exploring the Roof of the World

Article excerpt

Lines in the Ice: Exploring the roof of the world Philip J. Hatfield London: British Library, 2016 256pp, 23x29cm, Hb: ?25.00, ISBN 978-0-7123-5606-0

Early geographies were based on accounts of travel, exploration and discovery. Drawing on similar sources, in responding to the Columbus quincentenary historians wrote and gave identity to a somewhat different but related genre: encounter literature. It focused on interactions between indigenous peoples and alien intruders within specific regions, the consequences for both and for the contacted environments. Although it does not claim to be encounter literature, much of Lines in the Ice focuses on such interactions and consequences within parts of the Arctic during the last almost five centuries.

Formerly the curator of the British Library's extensive Canadian, US and Caribbean collections, the author has a unique awareness of primary sources. This is reflected both in the book's strengths and limitations. The regional emphasis is on parts of what are now Canada's Northwest Territories. Conversely, the Eurasian Arctic fringe is hardly mentioned. Secondary publications are included in a list of only 50 inadequatelycited post-1950 books and there is only one citation to a periodical. …

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