Magazine article The New Yorker

The Lore of Explorers

Magazine article The New Yorker

The Lore of Explorers

Article excerpt

"The looming mist, the shout in his breast, the wordless awe. But that is just it: wordless. A crash of white filling his ears and I! I! I! as he flew down the cliff." The grandeur of the Great Falls of the Missouri overwhelms Meriwether Lewis in Brian Hall's novel I Should Be Extremely Happy In Your Company (Viking), which deftly re-creates Lewis's journey with his partner, William Clark, across the new Western territory. Lewis is sensitive and insecure, suffering from self-recrimination as he tries, and fails, to meet President Jefferson's eccentric demands--to find a mammoth, Welsh Indians, and, of course, the Northwest Passage.

More insidious motives emerge in Seduced by the West (Ivan R. Dee), Laurie Winn Carlson's examination of the political plotting that surrounded the expedition. Carlson speculates that Thomas Jefferson may have intended to provoke war with Spain or establish a separate, Republican nation in the West. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.