Arctic Circles: Circuits of Sociability, Intimacy, and Imperial Knowledge in Britain and North America, 1818–1828

  • Annaliese Jacobs
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


This chapter examines how explorers’ wives and families managed both information and trauma during the British search for the Northwest Passage in the 1820s. In their relatives’ absence, women circulated gifts, specimens, and correspondence within elite social and scientific networks in metropolitan London, and shored up explorers’ reputations as respectable and creditable observers unchanged by their harrowing experiences on the margins of North America. As a result, explorers and family members were both entangled in the fraught intimacies of the field, relationships that developed from explorers’ reliance on Indigenous authorities, mixed-race families, and vernacular agents, as well as the close bonds formed among men suffering trauma.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annaliese Jacobs
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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