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Picture of The Mystique of the Northwest Passage

The Mystique of the Northwest Passage

Martin Frobisher’s Voyages to the Arctic Wasteland, 1576–1578

Author(s): Bożenna Chylińska

Book Description

The book highlights the 16th-century English-Atlantic connections based on the world division defined by two fundamental documents of the late 15th century: namely, the papal bull Inter Caetera, and the Portuguese-Spanish Treaty of Tordesillas. Despite this, an imaginary Northwest Passage to the wealth and markets of the Far East captured the attention of Elizabethan merchants and navigators searching for an alternative sea route to Asia to challenge the Portuguese and Spanish commerce monopoly. The core of the book is Sir Martin Frobisher’s three Arctic voyages of 1576–78, intended to connect the Protestant focus on wealth acquisition with the territorial expansion. Although Frobisher’s venture lacked opportunities for advancement, he marked his place in history by creating a fascination for the mythical Northwest Passage and an interest in North America. The book is based on the eyewitness accounts of the expeditions’ captains, and will appeal to a large audience, from teachers and students in the general humanities to those specifically interested in language, literature, and trans-Atlantic and Renaissance studies.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-1636-6
ISBN-10: 1-5275-1636-9
Date of Publication: 01/12/2018
Pages / Size: 221 / A5
Price: £61.99


Bożenna Chylińska, PhD, DLitt, is Professor of British and American History and Culture at the Institute of English Studies of the University of Warsaw, Poland. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on European and American religious and social movements, ethnic and women studies, 16th- and 17th-century social ethics, and Early Modern European-Atlantic connections. Her publications also include The Gospel of Work and Wealth in the Puritan Ethic. From John Calvin to Benjamin Franklin; Revolutions, Evolutions, and Devolutions in Europe, America, and Elsewhere (as editor); Ideology and Rhetoric. Constructing America (as editor); and In Search of Greener Pastures. A Hundred Years of the Zionist Idea in the United States. She has been awarded fellowships by the Fulbright-Hays, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Rockefeller Foundation, and was hosted by the University of California at Berkeley, Brandeis University at Waltham, Massachusetts, and the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.