Book Review-‘John Rae, Arctic Explorer: The unfinished autobiography’ by W. Barr (ed.)

By Tom Muir, published December 2020


I have long been aware of John Rae’s unfinished autobiography, which is held in the collection of the Scott Polar Research Institute, but have not had the pleasure of reading it, until now. As exhibitions officer with the Orkney Museum I was able to access the manuscript through an intern from the National Museums Scotland for Rae’s bicentenary exhibition at Stromness Museum. As the exhibition was looking at Rae the collector of ethnography and natural history, my focus was fairly narrow and the intern was given subjects that I was particularly interested in using. This pales into insignificance when compared to the task of transcribing the complete manuscript for publication. William Barr has taken on this herculean task and also made numerous notes to accompany the text…

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Biography

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