256 pages, 100 photos and illustrations
Lines in the Ice asks why Europeans have for so long been drawn to the Arctic, following the course of major journeys to the region, assessing the impact of this on the North's indigenous communities and revealing how important this exploration has been in making the modern world. As well as drawing out this rich and vivid history, Lines in the Ice focuses on the beauty the Arctic has created by inspiring those who live in the landscape or have spent their lives exploring it. It is richly illustrated throughout with topographical views, innovative photography and particularly maps.
The first section, 'Blank Spaces?', uncovers the deep history of European interest in the Arctic, and the ways its rare tradable goods and mineral riches have long drawn explorers into contact with indigenous people. The central section charts 18th- and 19th-century attempts to trace a route through the Arctic ice. In a final section, the author asks how the Arctic's history influences the present.
Using Cold War maps, historic photographs and modern scientific models, they draw out the links between exploration and climate change, as well as examining how this changing landscape affects today's Arctic communities and global politics.
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Philip Hatfield is Lead Curator of Digital Mapping at the British Library, where he was previously Curator of Canadian Studies