The Voyage of the Narwhal

The Voyage of the Narwhal

A Novel

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
3
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Capturing a crucial moment in the history of exploration the mid nineteenth-century romance with the Arctic, this book focuses on a particular expedition & its accompanying scholar-naturalist, Erasmus Darwin Wells. Through his eyes, we meet the Narwhal's crew & its commander-obsessed with the search for an open polar sea & encounter the far-north culture of the Esquimaux. In counterpoint, we see the women left behind in Philadelphia, explorers only in imagination. Together, those who travel & those who stay weave a web of myth & mystery. And finally they discover-as all explorers do-not what was always there & never needed discovering, but the state of their own souls.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 1999
ISBN: 9780393319507
0393319504
Branch Call Number: FICTION BARRETT 1999
Characteristics: 399 p. : ill., map ; 21 cm

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From Library Staff

This tale of a 19th century expedition to the Arctic (and the women left behind in Philadelphia) has it all, really rich characters, a compelling story, and wonderful writing. Andrea Barrett is especially adept at writing about the natural world.

This tale of an expedition to the Arctic (and the women left behind in Philadelphia) has it all, really rich characters, a compelling story, and wonderful writing. Andrea Barrett is especially gifted at writing about the natural world. This is also available in large print.

This is a novel about the men on a voyage to the Arctic who are stranded in the ice and some of the women left behind in Philadelphia, waiting for them. The Arctic journey is narrated by the ship's naturalist, and Andrea Barrett excels at writing about the natural world.

Combines fact and fiction to follow Erasmus Darwin Wells, the nineteenth-century naturalist, on his reckless pursuit of an open polar sea, and also tells of the women waiting for the explorers back home in Philadelphia.

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multcolib_dianaa Mar 04, 2014

I couldn't put down this novel about the men on a voyage to the Arctic who got stranded in the ice and some of the women left behind in Philadelphia, waiting for them. The Arctic journey is narrated by the ship's naturalist, and Andrea Barrett excels at writing about the natural world.


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htliang
Feb 11, 2016

This is a powerful historical fiction novel. It tells the story of the Narwhal's search for the fate of Franklin's expedition. Most of the story is told through the eyes of Erasmus, the ship's naturalist. The leader of the expedition, Zeke, is filled with ambition to make a name for himself. He disregards the safety and advice of his crew as he plots to overwinter in the arctic. By the end of the story, I came to fiercely hate this man.

Andrea Barrett does an amazing job of depicting the arctic in all its beauty and power. She also takes the reader into the minds of the crew - their hopes and fears. The terrible suffering the men endured during their winter in Smith South is explored in depth - from scurvy to frostbite to starvation (even having to eat the grubs found in old caribou skins).

I had a difficult time putting this book down. I highly recommend it.

multcolib_dianaa Mar 04, 2014

I couldn't put down this novel about the men on a voyage to the Arctic who got stranded in the ice and some of the women left behind in Philadelphia, waiting for them. The Arctic journey is narrated by the ship's naturalist, and Andrea Barrett excels at writing about the natural world.

d
dbeer
Dec 19, 2012

A fascinating story of travel in the arctic around 1855. Loved the characters and found it hard to put down.

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