Round Table on Northern Lights: The Arctic Scots


Tuesday, March 12 · 5:30 – 7:30pm GMT

Boyd Orr Building, University Avenue Glasgow G12 8SP

Free Event – All Welcome

Round Table on Northern Lights: The Arctic Scots will be delivered by Dr Lizanne Henderson (University of Glasgow) & Prof. Richard Finlay (University of Strathclyde).

Surprisingly, the remarkable story of the Scottish role in the discovery of the Northwest Passage – a long desired trade route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific – has not received a great deal of attention. This book charts the extensive contribution to Arctic exploration made by the Scots, including significant names, such as John Ross from Stranraer, veteran of three Arctic expeditions; his nephew, James Clark Ross, the most experienced Arctic and Antarctic explorer of his generation and discoverer of the Magnetic North Pole; John Richardson of Dumfries, a medical doctor, seasoned explorer and engaging natural historian; and Orcadian John Rae, who discovered evidence of the grisly demise of John Franklin and his crew. The book also pays tribute to many others too: the Scotch Irish, the whalers and not least the Inuit, with whom the Scottish explorers cooperated and generally enjoyed good relations, relying on their knowledge of the environment in many crucial cases.

The awakening of the Scots to the magnificence and dread of the hyperborean regions – as places of discovery, of inspiration and, regrettably, of exploitation – is traced, with particular emphasis on the first half of the nineteenth century until the search for the missing Franklin expedition mid-century.

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Tuesday 12 Mar 2024
Boyd Orr Building, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow. United Kingdom