This book provides a unique and thoroughly researched history of the lands and seas lying north of the Arctic Circle, from their earliest occupation around 12,000 years ago to the present day. Geographically, it embraces all the truly Arctic countries: the northern shores of Russia extend approximately halfway round the northern hemisphere; the United States, Canada and Denmark had their stakes in the Arctic too, and much exploration was undertaken there by Britain. As well as describing the explorers and colonists of the Arctic and the various and thwarted attempts to forge a trade route through the North-West or North-East Passages - including those by the great sixteenth-century explorer Willem Barentsz, and by Henry Hudson, who died after a mutiny and whose name lives on in Hudson Bay - the book also studies the region's indigenous inhabitants, in particular the Inuit and Samoyed peoples. Archaeological evidence of early habitation is considered, including the remarkable Whale Alley on Yttygran Island in Russia's Far East, an Arctic 'Stonehenge'. Later chapters cover the history of whaling, of the Hudson's Bay Company and other fur traders, and of the exploitation of the Arctic's natural resources. In the twentieth century exploration for the purposes of scientific research began and conservation became an important issue. The final chapters consider the survival of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic today, and the strategic and scientific significance of the region. Illustrated with contemporary illustrations, photographs and maps, The Arctic. A History is the only account of the history of the area, and will also appeal to anyone interested in its geography and anthropology.
History, Military, Naval,