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Reading: The Supernatural Arctic: An Exploration


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The Supernatural Arctic: An Exploration


Shane McCorristine

University College Dublin, IE
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The magnetic attraction of the North exposed a matrix of motivations for discovery service in nineteenth-century culture: dreams of wealth, escape, extreme tourism, geopolitics, scientific advancement, and ideological attainment were all prominent factors in the outfitting expeditions. Yet beneath this ‘exoteric’ matrix lay a complex ‘esoteric’ matrix of motivations which included the compelling themes of the sublime, the supernatural, and the spiritual. This essay, which pivots around the Franklin expedition of 1845-1848, is intended to be an exploration which suggests an intertextuality across Arctic time and geography that was co-ordinated by the lure of the supernatural.

How to Cite: McCorristine, S., 2010. The Supernatural Arctic: An Exploration. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 9(1), pp.47–70. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2010.


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