Samuel Hearne Criticism - Essay

I. S. MacLaren (essay date winter 1984)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: MacLaren, I. S. “Samuel Hearne and the Landscapes of Discovery.” Canadian Literature 3 (winter 1984): 27-40.

[In the following essay, MacLaren argues that Hearne's depictions of landscapes in A Journey to the Northern Ocean show his own as well as his countrymen's evolving understanding of nature.]

Although the literary merit of Samuel Hearne's A Journey … to the Northern Ocean (1795) has been recognized, and while the narrative has been deemed “one of the most sophisticated early journals and narratives,” a search has not yet been undertaken for demonstrations of this sophistication in either the explorer's writing style or the ways in...

(The entire section is 6616 words.)

Bruce Greenfield (essay date winter 1968-87)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Greenfield, Bruce. “The Idea of Discovery as a Source of Narrative Structure in Samuel Hearne's Journey to the Northern Ocean.Early American Literature 21, no. 3 (winter 1986-87): 189-209.

[In the following essay, Greenfield discusses how the European idea of discovery shaped Hearne's narrative style in Journey to the Northern Ocean.]

Most scholars of the discovery of the Americas have understood that, as Quinn says, “there could be no real discovery of North America unless, and until, there was a written record of that discovery.”1 Among the earliest students of the subject, Richard Hakluyt, the great sixteenth-century editor of...

(The entire section is 9302 words.)

I. S. MacLaren (essay date January 1991)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: MacLaren, I. S. “Samuel Hearne's Accounts of the Massacre at Bloody Fall, 17 July 1771.” ARIEL 22, no. 1 (January 1991): 25-51.

[In the following essay, MacLaren points to differences in Hearne's field notes and the subsequently published A Journey to the Northern Ocean to show that the latter is not necessarily an accurate account of the events being depicted.]

In the twentieth century we are continually trying to alter and refine our descriptions of facts, while at the same time trying to stabilize literary texts in “definitive” editions. The description of a fact has no acknowledged literary value and becomes disposable at a...

(The entire section is 11421 words.)

Robin McGrath (essay date 1993)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: McGrath, Robin. “Samuel Hearne and the Inuit Oral Tradition.” Studies in Canadian Literature 18, no. 2 (1993): 94-109.

[In the following essay, McGrath compares Hearne's written account of the massacre at Bloody Fall with Inuit oral histories of that and other massacres.]

In recent years, Samuel Hearne's A Journey From Prince of Wales Fort to the Northern Ocean has been the subject of considerable academic disagreement. A. J. M. Smith has called the work “a classic of English prose” (Smith 53), and Maurice Hodgeson has said it exemplifies “the best characteristics in the genre of travel literature” (Hodgeson 40), claims denied by Dermot...

(The entire section is 6220 words.)

Keith Harrison (essay date September-December 1995)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Harrison, Keith. “Samuel Hearne, Matonabbee, and the ‘Esquimaux Girl’: Cultural Subjects, Cultural Objects.” Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 22, nos. 3-4 (September-December 1995): 647-57.

[In the following essay, Harrison analyzes Hearne's changing portrayals of identity and self in Journey to the Northern Ocean.]

The heroizing implicit in the trope of exploration is downplayed, even subverted in Samuel Hearne's A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean …, a sometimes boring narrative tinged with farce and shaped by anti-climax which often represents the narrator as passive. As Bruce...

(The entire section is 4685 words.)

Kevin D. Hutchings (essay date April 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Hutchings, Kevin D. “Writing Commerce and Cultural Progress in Samuel Hearne's A Journey … to the Northern Ocean.ARIEL 28, no. 2 (April 1997): 49-78.

[In the following essay, Hutchings seeks to provide a middle ground between those scholars who see Hearne's writings as passive and unbiased and those who view the explorer as an imperial colonist, concentrating on Hearne's evolving awareness of differences between English and aboriginal cultures.]

… though it is not to be supposed that the compiler of a general work can be intimately acquainted with every subject of which it may be necessary to treat, yet a very moderate share...

(The entire section is 11857 words.)

Kathleen Venema (essay date 1998)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Venema, Kathleen. “Mapping Culture onto Geography: ‘Distance from the Fort’ in Samuel Hearne's Journal.Studies in Canadian Literature 23, no. 1 (1998): 9-31.

[In the following essay, Venema argues that Hearne's Eurocentric worldview can be found in his narrative accounts of space and his own geographical distance from the Hudson's Bay Company forts.]

On 12 August 1770, likely on the plain west of Dubawnt Lake (Hearne [A Journey …] 95n), a gust of wind smashed Samuel Hearne's quadrant onto stony ground and damaged it beyond repair. Hearne was forced, as a result, to give up his second attempt to reach the mouth of the Coppermine River...

(The entire section is 10013 words.)