Geographies of the Romantic North : Science, Antiquarianism, and Travel, 1790-1830

A. Byrne

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, unprecedented numbers of Britons travelled to the sub-Arctic, foreshadowing the fever for polar exploration that would emerge in the mid-nineteenth century. At the same time, literary and scientific developments contributed to the movement now known as Romanticism. How did the sciences, antiquarianism, and ethnology interact to produce visions of the North? And what happened when British men of science and Northern indigenous peoples encountered each others ways of knowing the world? This study presents a new approach to understanding British engagements with the North, revealing its heretofore unheralded significance for the development of British identities, the Romantic imagination, and the advancement of the sciences.