Turner's Dark Veganism

Jason Edwards

University of York

Figure 1

Fig. 1: J.M.W. Turner, Whalers (c.1845), photographic reproduction of an original oil on canvas, 91.8. x 122.6 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1896 (96.29)

Figure 2

Fig. 2: J.M.W. Turner, Whalers (c.1845) oil on canvas, 91.1. x 121.9cm Tate, London. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest, 1856 (N000545)

Figure 3

Fig. 3: J.M.W. Turner Hurrah! for the Whaler Erebus! Another Fish! (1846) oil on canvas, 90.2. x 120.6 cm, Tate, London. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest, 1856 (N000546)

Figure 4

Fig. 4: J.M.W. Turner Whalers (Boiling Blubber) Entangled in Flaw Ice, Endeavouring to Extricate Themselves (c.1846), oil on canvas, 89.9. x 120 cm, Tate, London. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest, 1856 (N000547)

“Will all great Neptune’s oceans wash this blood

Clean from [our] hand[s]? No, th[ese our] hand[s] will rather

The multitudinous seas incarnadine”.

William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2

Introduction: Turner and the Whale, or a Saucy Lobster Salad?

In the summer of 1845, J.M.W. Turner exhibited at the Royal Academy summer exhibition in London a pair of canvases devoted to the subject of commercial whaling, following a parliamentary commission in 1844 considering the future of the beleaguered trade, that suggests Turner’s ongoing desire to capitalize on topical concerns.[1] (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2) The pictures, both entitled Whalers, were hung adjacently, divided by Clarkson Stanfield’s lost The Mole at Ancona with Trajan’s Arch (1845). The subtitles of Turner’s canvases referenced pages 163 and 175 of Thomas Beale’s influential Natural History of the Sperm Whale (1835), which had been reissued in 1839, with the addition of A Sketch of South-Sea Whaling Voyage.[2] This was a book that Turner likely borrowed from one of his most devoted late patrons: spermaceti-merchant Elhanan Bicknell, who owned four copies, and to whom we shall return.[3]

Turner’s 1845 Whalers, now divided between Tate Britain and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, were succeeded, at the summer 1846 Academy, by a second pair of whale-themed canvases, just as a forty-foot Greenland whale, that had beached in Caernarvon Bay, was towed into Liverpool that May; events which must have again made the pictures seem topical.[4] (Fig. 3 and Fig. 4) This time hung in separate rooms, Hurrah! For The Whaler Erebus! Another Fish! and Whalers (Boiling Blubber) Entangled in Flaw Ice, Endeavouring to Extricate Themselves, are now at Tate Britain.[5]

Turner’s direct contemporaries were powerfully divided regarding the merit of his whaling canvases. On May 6 1845, the Times commented that, in his Whalers, Turner had discovered a “new field for his peculiar style”, describing how the “great portion” of the pictures was “one mass of white spray”, which so “blend[ed] with the white clouds of the sky” that viewers could “hardly separate them” from the white ship sails, “placed in defiance of contrast”; although noting that, “to do justice to Turner”, spectators needed to remember that he was a painter, “not of reflections”, but “immediate sensations”; his pictures representing a “free, vigorous, fearless embodiment of the effect of a moment”.

The Spectator concurred on May 9, describing the canvasses’ “tumultuous surges”, their “light, spray, and clouds; beautiful as harmonies of colour; depicting the peril and excitement of Whale-fishing, in a vague, imaginative manner”. The Morning Chronicle, of May 7, was more lukewarm. Their critic singled out the striking effect of the “red clothing of the sailors in the boats”, but argued that although they could not sanction the “legitimacy of the means” that Turner adopted, they could not deny his Whalers were “capable of producing extraordinary and gratifying effects”.

Punch, on May 31, was harsher, famously arguing that the Whalers embodied one of those “singular effects which are only met with in lobster salad, and in this artist’s pictures”; and suggesting that whether Turner called his pictures “Whalers, or Venice, or Morning, or Noon, or Night”, it was “all the same; for it is quite easy to fancy [them] one thing as another”.[6] On May 17, The Literary Gazette subsequently came to Turner’s defense, arguing that the “lobster-sauce” metaphor employed by “some crusty critic” failed to do justice to Turner’s visionary “atmospheric effects of magical talent”; and finding “astonishing”, if unconvincing, his “prismatic”, bright “handling of the tints, and their harmony”, his “splintered rainbows thrown against the canvass”.

Victorian novelist and art critic William Makepeace Thackeray, meanwhile, writing as Michael Angelo Titchmarsh in the June edition of Fraser’s Magazine, captured beautifully the contemporary ambivalence towards the “monstrous” Whalers, as well as the unfolding phenomenological experience of viewing the pictures, feeling that Turner’s “mesmeris[ing]” 1845 Academy submission vibrated between the “absurd and sublime, until the eye gr[ew] dazzled”. At first, spectators found Turner’s laughable canvases “merely dabbled over” with occasional streaks of yellow, flicked here and there with vermillion; but, having looked “for a little time”, his pictures worked their characteristic magic. The painter’s “vermillion blotches” became “little boats full of harpooners” and, suddenly, “that is not a smear of purple you see yonder, but a beautiful whale, whose tail has just slapped a half-dozen whale-boats into perdition; and as for what you fancied to be few zig-zag lines spattered on the canvas at hap-hazard, look! they turn out to be a ship with all her sails”.[7]

Turner’s 1846 Whalers fared little better with the critics. On May 6 1846, the Times again came out in Turner’s defense, arguing that Hurrah! For the Whaler Erebus! Another Fish! was “too magnificent for jokes” and should “check all those who regard[ed] the pictures of this great colourist” as “jests” or “mere themes for mirth”. Writing three days later, the Athenaeum critic similarly took issue with those spectators who thought Turner’s “strange titles” had “nothing to do with the heaps of colour” before them, suggesting that more patient viewers could find something “tangible” and “reasonable” in the “masses of beautiful, though almost chaotic, colours” that comprised Whalers (Boiling Blubber): the “sea-green hue of the ice”, the “flicker of the sunbeam on the waves”, the “boiling of the blubber”, and the “tall forms of the ice-bound vessels” all “dressed in Turner’s magic glow”.

The Literary Gazette, of May 9, was less willing to “grant the style”, and to provide forms for “encomium”, and only if sympathetic viewers were willing to be “carried away by a sort of indistinct and harmonious magic” and to “consent to the abandonment of solid truth and real nature altogether, and allow dark ships to be chrome-yellow, whales glittering pink, human beings sun or moon-beams, and little thick dabs of paint ethereal clouds”. Wondering if Turner had pelted Hurrah! for the Whaler Erebus! with egg, meanwhile, the June 1846 Almanack of the Month wondered if the picture should be called “‘Hallo there! – the oil and vinegar, - another lobster salad’”.[8]

Noting the dominantly formalist, rather than ethical or vegan-theoretical, character of contemporary responses to Turner’s quartet, it might nevertheless be worth pausing to consider what might have been at stake in the repeated critical comparison of the pictures to “portion[s]” of food, and especially to “lobster salad” and “lobster-sauce”.[9] After all, lobsters were central to the longer history of European art and to Victorian culinary culture. They were found in art historical examples ranging from ancient Roman mosaics to Dutch and Spanish Golden-Age breakfast still lives, in Adriaen van Utrecht’s Festive Meal (1644) and Baltasar Gomez Figueira’s Oranges, Onions, Fish, and Crab (1645).[10] Lobsters also played a crucial role in mid-Victorian visual and literary culture. In 1859, George Cruikshank depicted men attacking a giant lobster in Old Faces in New Masks; whilst Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies (1863) featured a distinguished lobster living off the English coast, with a “subtle lesson” for its readers: be “kind to lobsters”.[11]

Not all of our Victorian predecessors, however, agreed with Kingsley’s animal-friendly sentiments. Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families (1846) included a recipe for lobster salad, one of many found in Victorian cookbooks.[12] Indeed, by1869 Norway was exporting record numbers of lobsters to London where, according to a certain Monsieur Schele de Vere, they were to be found, at Billingsgate fish market, “stacked up for sale” in “pyramids”; a “vast moving mass of spiteful claws and restless feelers”, numbering some hundreds of thousands across the year, “savage at being torn” from Norwegian waters.[13]

It was probably the colour of these European lobsters, and the overall eggy, oleaginous texture of lobster salads, that Turner’s hostile critics were referring to in their lobster sauce metaphors, since, like Homarus gammarus, which are buff coloured whilst alive, but turn orange-red on boiling, the palette of Turner’s Tate Whalers contains central passages of striking orange-red, in the boats and forms of the whalers - the lobster meat at the centre of the plate - whipped up and surrounded with a creamy-egg-mayonnaise white, peppered with grey-black, with the water in the bottom left-hand corner a wilted lettuce green, at the plate’s edge; the thickness of Turner’s overall facture perhaps “crusty” as the bread served alongside the salad or oily as the mayonnaise to be mopped up by it, depending on how dry Turner’s canvasses were at the moment the critics encountered them. After all, these were paintings frequently and famously touched up in situ at the Royal Academy on Vanishing Days.[14]

Turner’s contemporaries were evidently scoring points off the painter in a number of ways. Firstly, in comparing his pictures to lobster sauce and salad, rather than the highly recognisable form of intact lobsters, the journalists emphasized the difference between the famously clear iconography of lobsters in Dutch and Spanish Golden-Age still lives, and the blurry, difficult-to-locate forms of Turner’s whales, self-consciously sketchy forms that critics viewed as technical weakness or arrogant affect.[15] The journalists were also, perhaps, slyly suggesting Turner’s lack of gentlemanly origins and status, with Billingsgate Fish Market recalling Covent Garden market, the lowly area of London where Turner had been born; and lobster salad, an affordable, quickly-fashioned, lower-middle-class dish at best.[16]

If the culture of seafood was at the heart of the hostile critical reception of Turner’s Whalers, perhaps further prompted by the title of the quartet’s third canvas, Hurrah! for the Whaler Erebus! Another Fish!, journalists were evidently not concerned with the animal ethics of the pictures, of carnivorous consumption more generally, or interested in the possible presence of animal bodies within Turner’s pigment; a possibility to which I return. Indeed, not one critic at the time challenged the pictures on animal ethics grounds. In the remainder of this essay, I want to do just that, and to reconceptualise the whaling quartet in three ways: in the context of the attitude to animals evidenced by Turner’s main source, Thomas Beale; in a vegan-theoretical frame, a new subspecies of theory engaging with cultural history from the perspective of ethical vegans;[17] and within the larger, more abstract context of the circum-polar world, a concept I derive from famed, early-nineteenth-century Whitby whaler William Scoresby Junior.[18] I contextualize Turner in these novel ways to make the overall argument that, like Turner’s controversial, and more widely discussed Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying – Typhoon Coming On (1840), the painter’s Whalers are characterised by a new ethical complexity within the genre of his 1840’s marine pictures.[19]

In so doing, I build significantly on an earlier reading of the whaling quartet that I proposed in the exhibition catalogue accompanying Turner and the Whale, which I wrote in the Autumn of 2016 to accompany the exhibition opening at Hull Maritime Museum in October 2017.[20] In my earlier essay, I explored the quartet in relation to one of Turner’s peers, Regency Arctic explorer George William Manby’s ambivalent account of whaling, in the Journal of a Voyage to Greenland in the Year 1821 (1822).[21] Here, I extend that analysis by offering close readings of two further primary whaling sources: Beale’s Natural History, and Scoresby’s An Account of the Arctic Regions (1820), suggesting the widespread nature of the ambivalent attitudes to whales and whaling that Turner’s work addresses and embodies. This is important because it keeps us from attributing to the painter an ethical sophistication lacking amongst his peers. I draw on more recent vegan-theoretical commentary, meanwhile, much unavailable to me at the time of writing the earlier catalogue essay, to suggest what might be at stake, ethically and methodologically, in considering the raw animal materials Turner employed in his painting practice, thus far considered only in a technical art historical context. I also extend my earlier argument to suggest why those critical animal studies issues, whilst focused here on Turner’s whaling quartet, need to be extended beyond those canvases in the direction of his entire oeuvre, if not art history tout court. Finally, I develop my earlier understanding of what might be at stake in the concept of the circum-polar world, in light of the recent controversy surrounding the sculptural memorialization of circum-Atlantic slavery across the United States, in the late summer of 2017, the time at which this present essay was written.[22]

Turner and the Whale/rs, or Spermaceti as Absent Referent

In declaring unequivocally Hurrah! for the Whaler Erebus! Another Fish! and including the word ‘whaler’ in all four of his titles, Turner’s canvases are evidently not on the sides of the whales, and seek to memorialize the heroism of the whalers; a notion recognized, as we have seen, by the critic of The Spectator who also vicariously thrilled at the “peril and excitement of Whale-fishing”.[23] And yet, the late-twentieth-century critic who has dominated conceptualisations of Turner’s quartet, Robert K. Wallace has consistently encouraged viewers to think about Turner’s sympathy not for the whalers, but for the whales.[24] I am highly sympathetic to Wallace’s eco-critical stance, but I fear that Turner’s pictures are harder to pin down emotionally and ethically.

Turner’s lifetime witnessed a marked advance in legislation seeking to protect pets and farm animals, with the passing of the Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act in 1822; the founding of the Society for the Protection of Animals in 1825; and two broader anti Cruelty to Animals acts in 1835 and 1849. However, as Diana Donald has persuasively argued, our Victorian predecessors were, like ourselves, simultaneously “capable of viewing animals both as fellow-beings who share our self-awareness and capacity for suffering and as objects to be used as meat, experimental material, or sources of products required by the human race”, so that while some animals are and were “sentimentally cosseted”, “hosts of others” are and were, simultaneously, “perceived as a threat to be eliminated, or as a commodity to be exploited without scruple”. And it is only when we are willing and able to fuse somehow these views together, when we “comprehend our treatment of animals as a whole”, that we can “begin to draw moral conclusions”.[25]

Donald’s assessment seems right when it comes to Turner. Whilst he might have been intermittently sympathetic to the suffering of whales, his quartet was not meant to make an unequivocal case for the end of the whaling industry, at least not if the painter’s most significant textual source is anything to go by, and if he was painting with Bicknell in mind. After all, if Beale was interested in both the “natural and commercial history of the whale”, his book dealt with whales predominantly from a “commercial point of view”.[26] On the one hand, he felt sympathetic to the sufferings of hunted whales. He documented the “terrible”, “profound” and “piercing” groans of captured whales, and he noted that they felt “terribly frightened”; cries, of course, absent from the inescapably silent world of Turner’s pictures.[27] Beale also brought his readers’ attention to the way in which whalers often focused their attentions on “schools of females” accompanied by “young sucking whales”.[28] These represented particularly poignant scenes because of the “strong feeling of sociality or attachment” felt between such groups of whales; the mothers revealing a “very remarkable attachment to their young”. Indeed, Beale noted the “unceasing care and fondness” felt by mothers for their offspring; and the way in which orphaned whales often remained, for hours, around the carcasses of their dead parents, in spite of the mortal threat posed by whalers and sharks; painful scenes Turner carefully avoided.[29]

In addition, Beale described whaling as a “sort of worrying to death system”, and he documented that whalers had “destroyed great numbers of these useful creatures” and “driven the remainder to find more secure retreats, in which they could follow their natural inclinations, without being harassed by the chase or wounded by the harpoon”.[30] Beale also frequently made comparisons between the anatomy, physiognomy, and culture of whales and their human hunters. He noted the way in which the whales’ cervical vertebrae “resemble[d] the human form very much” and their cuticles were “somewhat similar to that on the sole of the foot in the human species”, although in each case pointing to a similarity rather than an identity, “very much as in the human subject, excepting” some key difference.[31] Finally, Beale documented the “curious” way in which whales communicated “by signal”, just like the sailors on the boats surrounding them.[32]

But if Beale was intermittently alive to the comparative anatomy and similar behaviour of whales and whalers, and to the “reckless cruelty of man” in relation to these “unoffending victim[s]”, he nevertheless referred to “our sailors” [my emphasis], and was keen to emphasize the “many thousands” of human beings who were “directly or indirectly dependent” on the whale fishery.[33] In addition, he argued that spermaceti oil was “best adapted” of the available alternatives to the “purposes of illumination”; and his description of the “groups, herds, or schools” of whales made them sound like farm animals bred straightforwardly for the purposes of carnivorous human consumption.[34] Indeed, Beale frequently used farming metaphors. He noted the “roaring of an enraged bull” whale, described the “snout” of a whale, and suggested that whale’s milk tasted like “cow’s milk”.[35]

In other passages, Beale described whales, no more sympathetically, as “unconscious monster[s]” - anticipating Thackeray’s “monstrous” metaphor - who presumably could not feel suffering or fear. Beale also suggested that whales were inanimate minerals ripe for mining, when he compared whales seen at a distance to “large black rocks”.[36] In addition, Beale recalled, with relish, the way in which whalers, like Turner’s, covered in blood, “glor[ied] in its show”; Beale’s overall ambivalence clear in his description of the “economy of whales” as “a victim to the tyranny and selfishness, as well as a wonderful proof of the great powers of the mind of man”.[37]

Similarly contradictory descriptive patterns can be found in Scoresby’s Account of the Arctic. Like Beale, Scoresby drew attention to the “maternal affection of the whale”; and documented the way that its “tender attachment[s]” would “do honour to the superior intelligence of human beings”, as well as the way that young whales were often “struck as a snare”.[38] On the other hand, Scoresby again compared whaling to “hunting” and “fishing”, and Turner was an ardent, lifelong fisherman, with whales found in “herds” and “shoals”.[39] Scoresby also compared whales to oxen and the “not unpleasant” taste of arctic fauna to “ham and beef-steak”, acknowledging that it was “pretty good, particularly in sea-pies”, further emphasizing that whaling was akin to farming.[40] Finally, Scoresby’s overall ambivalence towards this “valuable”, “interesting” and “productive” mammal can, again, be captured when he noted that whaling might be “extremely painful” but the “object of the adventure”, the “value of the prize”, and the “joy of capture” could not be “sacrificed to feelings of compassion” since whales had a “great importance in commerce”, “arts and manufactures”, and “afforded riches and independence to thousands”.[41]

If Turner’s primary sources had profoundly mixed feelings about their cetacean subjects, what evidence do we possess of the painter’s own attitude to whales? In answering this question, I want to think further about conservators Rebecca Hellen and Joyce H. Townsend’s discovery that he employed spermaceti oil in a number of his 1840’s canvases, including The Dawn of Christianity (The Flight Into Egypt) (1841), The Opening of the Walhalla, 1842 (1843) and Van Tromp, Going About to Please His Masters (1844), all dating from the period immediately before the Whalers; a “wax-based mixture” that “could have been added into any colour” to make it “go much further, without diluting its intensity”.[42] In addition, Townsend and Hellen document that “mixtures of beeswax and spermaceti wax” were found in other nineteenth-century paintings; and that Leslie Carlyle’s “extensive studies of instruction books and manuals for oil painting have produced numerous recipes for wax-oil mediums, using both of these waxes”.[43]

To date, Turner’s use of whale oil has not received much commentary, and what discussion there is represents a paradigmatic instance of what feminist-vegan philosopher and animal rights activist Carol J. Adams has characterised as the absent referent; or the way in which humans employ animal products without acknowledging their once living animal sources, and employ words like ‘pork’ and ‘beef’ to distance meat products from their origins in pigs and cows. After all, if Hellen and Townsend documented Turner’s use of spermaceti, they did so in the context of a technical conservation report designed to indicate the “high risk of using heat in treating Turner’s paintings, since spermaceti wax has a very low melting point”. That this is the extent of their analysis is, perhaps, surprising given that three of Turner’s Whalers, along with a number of pages from his whaling sketchbooks, were included in the same exhibition catalogue, Late Turner: Painting Set Free (2014), whose entries on the whaling images make no reference back to the earlier conservation report, even though David Blayney Brown’s essay emphasizes the “relationship of [Turner’s] materials to meaning”.[44]

In addition, with Turner’s whaling sketchbooks in mind, we might note the importance of “tub sizing” to the painter’s (often red-calf-leather-bound) sketchbook practice, in which the surface of each sheet of paper was “coated with forms of gelatin derived from animals”, and, in particular, from “trimmings or scrapings from leather, particularly vellum and parchment parings”, as well as parts of rabbits, calves, bullocks, and oxen. After all, this is a fact whose importance for Turner’s work “cannot be stressed enough”, according to paper historian Peter Bower, since the painter was “very deliberate” when it came to his choice of papers, and since “without the great increase in surface strength that all gelatin sizing gives to the paper”, he “would not have been able to work his surfaces to quite the degree that he did”.[45]

Rethinking Turner’s methods and materials in this vegan-theoretical way, and across his oeuvre, rather than in just the case of the whaling quartet, as indicating the evidence of the deaths of numerous, otherwise ungrieved animals to enable the painter’s artistic practice, is no small task for art historians, curators, and gallery goers.[46] That is because reconceiving art history and museology in this way, according to contemporary philosopher Cary Wolfe, as a domain that does not create “two entirely distinct ontological zones” - human beings on the one hand and nonhumans on the other – requires a fundamental change of perspective, from anthropocentric to “biocentric” frames of reference, and poses a challenge to art history’s characteristic separation of the “aesthetic” and “animalistic”.[47]

Indeed, in Turner’s case, literally hundreds of new images would need to come into immediate revisionary focus. For example, in thinking through the painter’s attitude to cows, whose skins covered his sketchbooks, we would need to explore 1801 works including A Cow and Calf: A Study of A Calf’s Head, A Cow Grazing, and a Cow with her Calf, and Landscape with a Flock of Sheep Crossing a Bridge, with a Calf, Sheep and Pigs in the Foreground, as well as other pages from the Cows Sketchbook of 1799-1801. Indeed, if you use ‘cow’ as a search term on the Tate Britain Turner Bequest catalogue, more than 700 results emerge. In addition, Turner sketched, in 1827, A Team of Eight Cattle Pulling a Wagon (‘The Bullock Wagon’), whilst the painter’s named images of oxen include A Landscape with Oxen, Drawing a Plough, Perhaps near Hanwell or Egham (c.1808-1811), Studies of Figures and Oxen (1819), Ploughs Drawn by Oxen, with a Peasant Woman (1817), and, perhaps most famously, Fonthill: Distant View of the Abbey from the East, with the Lake in the Foreground and a Team of Oxen (1799). Rabbits, meanwhile, whose bodies were rendered down into the sizing on Turner’s papers, appear in The Vale of Heathfield (1818), Merrick Abbery, Swaledale (c.1820), Okehampton, Devonshire (1826), whilst hares appear, very often being chased by dogs, in Battle Abbey, The Spot Where Harold Fell (1819), Colchester, Essex (1825-6), and, again most famously, in Rain, Steam, and Speed: The Great Western Railway (1844), where one is seeking to outrun a train.[48]

Whilst daunted by the scale of this endeavor, and unable to perform it here for reasons of space, the task of trying to persuade readers and viewers of the importance of this conceptual and perceptual shift represents an urgent ethical task for me, as a long-term vegetarian and aspiring vegan, mindful that global meat consumption is likely to double by 2050. And I say aspiring vegan not because I am not committed to the project of profoundly limiting, if not ending, my part in animal suffering and death, but because, as a professional art historian it is almost impossible for me to be a vegan in the context of the current canon, filled, as it is with predominantly non-vegan media, by which I mean images and objects containing animal products.[49]

After all, as Sara Salih has recently observed, moving “from a carnivorous to a vegan way of life” requires a “lasting shift in perception”, “practice”, and “taste”, in more than one sense, “and the pleasure that often accompanies taste”, since aspiring vegans must inquire “closely into the visible and invisible components” of everything they encounter, not just the individual ingredients listed on the food they purchase. For Salih, this requires “seeing the world in a different way” and “seeing what [one] had previously overlooked” [emphasis in the original], refusing to “accept the end product as it is presented”, for example as a supposedly ethically unproblematic piece of cheese or a Turner canvas. Instead, ethical vegan viewers and consumers must ceaselessly break such “products down into their constituent parts”, looking for “evidence of a massive crime” where “everyone else seems to be entirely comfortable with what you regard as horrifying”: the evidence of ungrieved animal corpses. And this requires ethical vegan viewers to “leave the norm behind” and to “marginalize” themselves, ourselves, “by insisting on looking at ‘the evidence’ in a way that most people don’t”, employing a kind of “X-Ray vision”, so that when I see a picture by Turner, “I also see what is not there to see: the animal whose life went into it”.[50]

Conclusion - Black Lives Matter: Turner’s Dark Veganism, or Turner in the Circum-Polar World?

But the tide has, perhaps, begun to turn when it comes to vegan-theoretical art history, museology, and curation, thanks to a number of recent interventions in the field of interdisciplinary vegan studies.[51] For example, late 2016 witnessed the publication of ‘The Compassion Manifesto: An Ethics for Art + Design and Animals’ designed for curators and art historians. In this, Julie Andreyev called for a reconsideration of the “material sources used in art and design” and for a rethinking of an art history and curatorial practice based on “alternatives to anthropocentric methods”, to challenge the protocols of a number of overlapping disciplines “written with the bodies of animals” but which mostly fail to “consider what is at stake for those other beings”. Indeed, Andreyev argues, “the majority of these practices construct nonhuman others as objects, not participants, as materials, not lives”. In this view, and regardless of the food metaphors critics often employed at the time, the period commentary on Turner 1840’s whaling pictures, and his parallel use of spermaceti in his broader oeuvre, are exemplary of a presumption that the history of art is an apparently tasteful, ethically neutral, unremarkable technology for transforming “living, breathing, sensing beings into material for aesthetic use”, both thematically and materially.[52]

To resist that tendency, I would argue, we need to rethink Turner’s whaling quartet, and use of spermaceti in his wider work, as a paradigmatic example of what Michael D. Sloane has again recently characterized as dark veganism. Like Andreyev, Sloane is concerned with the “documentation, production, consumption, and ethics of animal media” and with helping to “foreground the lives of animals” within art and cultural history, as part of a broader vegan commitment to “nonviolence and the eradication of animal exploitation”. Turner’s whaling quartet are an example of what Sloane would call dark veganism because “dark veganism is animal activism” that occurs through a “close attention to scenes and sounds of animal suffering that directly” or, in Turner’s case, “indirectly” and silently work toward “achieving nonviolence across and between humans and animals”. This is a representational practice which focuses on both the “expression of animal authorship”, which might be registered in Turner’s use of spermaceti, and the “useful dangers of engaging and representing animal pain and death”, especially in relation to texts, such as his whaling quartet, that are emphatically not intended as vegan, but which might help to generate, in sympathetic early twenty-first-century viewers, an “ethical disgust”, “visceral response”, or a motivation towards “animal rights advocacy and activism” via a “problematic treatment or representation” of a “history of an animal’s anxiety, stress, fear, and pain”.[53]

Taking such issues seriously might also encourage us to reconsider Turner in one final context, that of the circum-polar world, and to rethink, more generally, the still emergent historiographies of imperial, world and global art history from a vegan-theoretical perspective.[54] I use the phrase ‘circum-polar world’ here, and not merely the Arctic or Antarctic, the preferred nomenclature of Turner’s critics so far, as we have seen, to allude self-consciously to performance-studies critic Joseph Roach’s influential idea of the ‘circum-Atlantic World’. “Bounded by Europe, Africa, and the Americas, North and South, this economic and cultural system”, according to Roach, “entailed vast movements of people and commodities to experimental destinations, the consequences of which continue to visit themselves upon the material and human fabric of the cities inhabited by their successors”. For Roach, the “most revolutionary commodity in this economy” was the “human flesh” of slaves, which, like the sugar that they produced, “transformed the world economy and financed the industrial revolution”; and the “concept of a circum-Atlantic world (as opposed to a trans-Atlantic one) insists on the centrality of the diasporic and genocidal histories of Africa and the Americas, North and South, in the creation of the culture of modernity”.[55]

Roach’s account of the circum-Atlantic world drew, self-consciously, on critical-race-studies scholar Paul Gilroy’s earlier notion of the ‘Black Atlantic’; and, like Turner’s Slavers, Gilroys’s and Roach’s field-defining texts centred on the epoch-making tragedy of the millions of Africans forced to make the nightmarish journey across the middle passage to the Americas to live and work as slaves.[56] To understand Turner’s whaling quartet, by contrast, and at the genuine risk, in the context of the black lives matter movement, of making what critical-race and -animal studies scholar Marjorie Spiegel calls the dreaded comparison between people of colour and animals, I want to argue that Turner’s dark veganism prompts us to think about a different kind of black Atlantic: the perhaps equally ethically-charged and difficult-to-conceptualise circum-polar one.[57] This centred on the black bodies of whales, rather than human slaves; and on spermaceti oil, rather than sugar, to lubricate the ever-more-anthropogenically-catastrophic industrial revolution. The circum-polar world also shifts the focus of Atlantic World studies both north to the Arctic and south to the Antarctic circles of Victorian whaling and polar exploration; as well as to the combined humanimal tragedy of whale hunting, which was not only often fatal to the men engaged in the whaling trade, but resulted in the genocidal near extinction of north Atlantic whales in the period.[58]

In reconceptualising the circum-polar world in this way, Turner’s whaling pictures might become akin to the increasingly controversial monuments celebrating Confederate soldiers in the contemporary southern states of America, with the supposedly heroic whalers paralleling the supposedly heroic Civil War white supremacists. Indeed, it would not be an overstatement to say that in the art historiography and museology of nineteenth-century circum-Atlantic whaling, the heroism of the whalers has been, to date, with few exceptions, the central trope, with virtually no ethical discussion of the cetacean victims of whaling. Indeed, where numbers of dead whales are given, in such contexts, it is almost always to suggest the impressive scale of the enterprise, and when the near extinction of right whales in the period is acknowledged, it is usually in the service of emphasizing the only greater heroism of the whalers in heading ever further north into the dangerous, uncharted waters of the north-western Arctic circle.

Seeking to address these issues, Martha Cattell and I co-curated Turner and the Whale, which was on display at the Hull Maritime Museum in Autumn 2017. Juxtaposing, for the first time, Turner’s whaling quartet with their early modern Dutch and long-nineteenth-century Hull pictorial sources and parallels, the exhibition more importantly brought Turner’s Whalers into relation to actual whale bodies for the first time, in the form of various objects fashioned, by whalers and others, from whale oil and bone, which were contained within the exhibition, as both commodities and raw materials. The exhibition also included work made by a group of individuals conspicuously absent from Turner’s pictorial world of Arctic whaling: the Inuit population displaced by the whalers.[59] What does it mean to rethink Turner in both a vegan-theoretical and circum-polar context? Answers on a postcard please.


  1. For more, see Barry Venning, ‘Turner’s Whaling Subjects’, Burlington Magazine 127.983 (February 1985), 75-83; 83.

  2. Thomas Beale, The Natural History of The Sperm Whale, to Which is Added A Sketch of A South-Sea Whaling Voyage (1835; London: Jan Van Voorst, 1839), 163, 173-6. Turner’s subtitles led his viewers to chapter 13 of the Natural History, ‘The Chase and Capture of a Sperm Whale’. There, on page 163, Beale described a scene of whalers “with their harpoons held above their heads”, in pursuit of a “large ‘hump’ projecting three feet out of the water”, the subject of Turner’s first picture. The final capture of the whale, and the threat to the whalers it posed, appeared across pages 173-176, where Beale described the whalers’ attempts, as in Turner’s second canvas, to “save themselves from drowning”, and whose only hope was for other boats to “relieve them from their dangerous situation”. What we do not learn from Turner’s second canvas, but readers of Beale would have known, is that the sperm whale Turner depicts flailing, in the second canvas, sank to the bottom of the Pacific, before it could be hacked up and rendered down; an ocean locale where so-called ‘scientific’ whale hunting continues to this day, in spite of the International Whaling Commission’s 1982 moratorium on commercial whaling.

  3. For more on Bicknell and Turner’s relation to him, see Selby Whittingham’s entry in the new Dictionary of National Biography; Anon, ‘The Collection of Elhanan Bicknell, Esq., at Herne Hill’, Art Journal 3 (January 1857), 8-10; John Gage, ed. Collected Correspondence of J.M.W. Turner, with an Early Diary and Memoir by George Jones (Oxford: Clarendon, 1980), 205, 219-220, 240, 277; Peter Bicknell and Helen Guiterman, ‘The Turner Collector: Elhanan Bicknell’, Turner Studies 1 (1987), 34-44; and and Joll, Butlin and Herman, eds, Oxford, 24-25.

  4. For more, see Robert K. Wallace, Melville and Turner: Spheres of Love and Fright: (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992), 358.

  5. Like their predecessors, the first of Turner’s 1846 Whalers was accompanied by a reference to Beale, this time without a page number, although readers might have recalled the events of Chapter 14, ‘Of the “Cutting In” and “Trying Out”’ from the previous year, where, as in the picture, the sailors cheer when they capture the last whale they require to sail home (Beale, Natural History, 185-187). That Turner exhibited his Whalers in pairs, hung close together, but not immediately adjacently, perhaps suggests his interest in the phenomenology of whale vision, especially given the way in which, especially in the second pair, the majority of incident occurs towards the sides, and not towards the centre, where viewers, especially those oriented towards an Academic history painting aesthetic, might expect the focus to be. I suggest that this might have something to do with whale vision, because, unlike humans, whale eyes are located on the side of their heads, rather than on the front. We might, therefore, imagine Turner’s formal construction of the second pair of whalers to be an empathetic experiment in imagining the whale gaze, and thinking through how such vision be differently focussed towards the sides, rather than towards a central, recessional, vanishing point as in human stereoscopic vision. We might similarly think about the exhibition of the first pair of paintings, hung on either side of The Mole at Ancona, where, again attention would be pulled to the periphery, to Turner’s two canvasses, rather than the central Stanfield picture. For more on the phenomenology of ‘aquatic eyes’, see Michael F. Land and Dan-Eric Nilsson, Animal Eyes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 72-93.

  6. In addition to the two Whalers at the 1845 Academy, Turner exhibited a pair of Venice images: Venice, Evening, Going to the Ball and Morning, Returning from the Ball, St Martino; canvases which might make up a larger quartet with the whaling pictures, given the gondolier-like appearance of some of the men in the Tate Whalers. Indeed, The Spectator commented that Turner’s whalers were painted in the “same bright orange colour that the palaces and gondola of Venice are decked in” (May 24 1845). Turner also showed a pair of Venetian pictures alongside the whalers at the 1846 Academy: Going to the Ball (San Martino) and Returning From the Ball (St Martha). For more on Turner’s practice of painting pairs of pictures, see Martin Butlin, ‘Companion Works’, in Martin Butlin, Evelyn Joll and Luke Herman, eds, The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 54-56. For more on the pairing of pictures in the marine tradition, see Eleanor Hughes, ed. Spreading Canvas: Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting (New Haven: Yale Univesrity Press, 2016), 94, 96, 114, 231, 261, 266. For more on Turner’s Venetian subjects, see Lindsay Stainton, Turner’s Venice (London: British Museum, 1985), and Ian Warrell, David Laven, Jan Morris, and Ceclia Powell, Turner and Venice (London: Tate, 2003). The Whalers were not Turner’s only quartet. He made four paintings on the subject of Van Tromp, and ended his Academy career with a quartet on Virgil’s Dido and Aeneas.

  7. For further commentary on the 1845 Whalers, see the Morning Post (May 7 1845) and the Athenaeum (May 17 1845).

  8. For further commentary on the 1846 pictures, see The Art Union (June 1846).

  9. For representative positions within vegan theory, see Laura Wright, The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016); and Jodey Castricano and Rasmus R. Simonsen, eds, Critical Perspectives on Veganism (Oxford: Palgrave, 2016).

  10. For discussion, see Charles Sterling, Still Life Painting from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century (1952; 2nd Rev. Ed., New York: Harper and Row, 1981), 27, 31, 38, 50, 71, 75, 77, 119. For more on the history of still life as a genre, see Norman Bryson, Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting (London: Reaktion, 1990).

  11. In addition, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) included a Lobster Quadrille and a poem, ‘Tis The Voice of The Lobster’. For more on these examples, see Richard King, Lobster (London: Reaktion, 2011), 135, 155.

  12. Eliza Acton, Modern Cookery in All Its Branches (4th Ed. London: Longman’s, 1846), 573-574.

  13. It is estimated that Norway exported nearly 350k lobsters between 1804 and 1806, with the Norwegian lobster export industry peaking around 1827-1828, when some 1.5 million lobsters were exported annually to the United Kingdom (King, Lobster, 70-1).

  14. For more on the Victorian cultural and natural history of lobsters, see my ‘Looking at the Overlooked? William Coombe Sanders’s Frame Resembling Carved Wood with Lobster and Crab Motif (around 1862)’, forthcoming in the V&A online journal. For more on Turner’s performance on Royal Academy varnishing days, see Michael Rosenthal, ‘Turner Fires a Gun’, in David Solkin, ed., Art on the Line: The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780-1836 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 144-155.

  15. For more on Golden Age still lives, see Hanneke Grootenboer, The Rhetoric of Perspective: Realism and Illusionism in Dutch Golden Age Still Life Painting (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005). For more on whaling in this cultural-pictorial tradition, see Simon Schama, ‘Whales on the Beach: Writing on the Wall’, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (London: Collins, 1987), 130-150.

  16. Indeed, Acton’s cookbook was deliberately aimed at “persons of narrow fortune” (viii).

  17. I specify ethical vegans to differentiate the views of vegans who specifically advocate for the rights of animals, and are motivated by animal welfare issues, from lifestyle vegans, more concerned with the potential health benefits of a plant-based diet, and environmental vegans, motivated by their concern over the negative human environmental costs of the meat-industrial complex. I am grateful to Ben Westwood and Emelia Quinn for helping clarify these issues with me.

  18. In An Account of the Arctic Regions, with a History and Description of the Northern Whale Fishery (Edinburgh: Archibald and Constable, 1820), Scoresby talks about the “circumpolar seas” and “circumpolar regions” (49). For more on Turner and the polar world, see Robert K. Wallace, ‘Two Antarctic Sources for Turner’s 1846 Whaling Oils’, Turner Studies 8.1 (Summer 1988), 20-31, and ‘Two Antarctic Vignettes’, Turner Studies 9 (Summer 1989), 48-55.

  19. For more on Turner as a marine painter, see Christine Riding and Richard Johns, eds, Turner and the Sea (London: Thames and Hudson, 2013). The debate regarding the Slave Ship has been long and intense. For representative positions, see Albert Boime, ‘Turner’s Slave Ship: The Victims of Empire’, Turner Studies 10.1 (1990), 34-45; John McCoubrey, ‘Turner’s Slave Ship: Abolition, Ruskin, and Reception’, Word and Image 14.4 (October-December 1998), 319-53; Marcus Wood, Blind Memory: Visual Representations of Slavery in England and America, 1780-1865 (New York: Routledge, 2000), 1-78; Jan Marsh, ‘Ruskin and Turner’s Slavers: Patriotic, Political and Pictorial Issues’, Visual Culture in Britain 2.1 (Spring 2001), 47-65; Tobias Doring, ‘Turning the Colonial Gaze: Re-Visions of Turner in Dabydeen’s Turner’, Third Text 38 (2008), 3-14; and Sam Smiles, ‘Turner and the Slave Trade: Speculation and Representation, 1805-1840’, British Art Journal 8.3 (Winter 2008), 47-54.

  20. Jason Edwards, ed. Turner and the Whale (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), 55-92. I am grateful to my co-curator, Martha Cattell, for numerous productive discussions about long-nineteenth-century whaling.

  21. George William Manby, Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821, with Graphic Illustrations (London: Whittaker, 1823). For more on Turner’s relation to Manby, see James Hamilton, Turner and the Scientists (London: Tate, 1998), 84-90, 102.

  22. I am grateful to Eleanor Hughes for encouraging me to think harder about this parallel. In summer 2017, numerous states began debating the efficacy of removing statues of confederate soldiers, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. For more, see the open-access ‘All Monuments Must Fall’ syllabus at http://all-monuments-must-fall.ghost.io/all-monuments-must-fall-a-syllabus/ I am grateful to Meredith McGill for alerting me to this resource. For Hughes’s response to this parallel, see her essay in this group.

  23. For more on polar heroism, see Huw Lewis-Jones, Imagining the Arctic: Heroism, Spectacle, and Polar Exploration (I.B. Tauris, 2017).

  24. For examples, in addition to Melville and Turner: Spheres of Love and Fright, see Robert K. Wallace, ‘The “Sultry Creator of Captain Ahab”: Herman Melville and J.M.W. Turner’, Turner Studies 5 (Winter 1985), 2-19; ‘Teaching Moby-Dick in the Light of Turner’, in Martin Bickman, ed., Approaches to Teaching Melville’s ‘Moby-Dick’ (New York: PMLA, 1985), 135-139; and ‘Melville, Turner, and J.E. Gray’s Cetology’, Nineteenth-Century Contexts 13 (Fall 1989), 151-176. Whilst this article, in part, disagrees with Wallace’s assessment, I am profoundly indebted to this scholarship that everywhere precedes my own.

  25. Diana Donald, Picturing Animals in Britain (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 305.

  26. Beale, Natural History, v, 33.

  27. Beale, Natural History, 3-4. For more on the importance of The Cry of Nature: Art and the Making of Animal Rights (London: Reaktion, 2013), see Stephen F. Eisenman’s book of the same name. For more on non-verbal vocalisations in general, see Steven Connor, Beyond Words: Sobs, Hums, Stutters and Other Vocalisation (London: Reaktion, 2014).

  28. Beale, Natural History, 20.

  29. Beale, Natural History, 53.

  30. Beale, Natural History, 138, 141.

  31. Beale, Natural History, 80, 90, 98. Beale’s interest in whale vertebrae might make newly resonant the thick, spine-like patch of paint in the right-hand corner of the Tate whaler.

  32. Beale, Natural History, 52. For more on the parallels between whalers and whales, within the language of the elements, and being specifically out of one’s element, see Ben Westwood’s essay in this grouping.

  33. Beale, Natural History, 161, 193, 220. For a reading of the complex iconography of sailors in this period, and a hugely “productive move away from the sincerity and despair that often characterises vegan responses to violence”, and indeed much of the tone of my argument, see Emelia Quinn’s essay in this grouping.

  34. Beale, Natural History, 2, 20.

  35. Beale, Natural History, 1, 20, 24, 51, 53, 126. We shall return to the question of Turner’s cows in due course, but an understanding of his engagement with pigs would need to include his 1792-3 Sailors Getting Pigs on Board a Boat in Choppy Sea, his 1796 Studies of Pigs, his Landscape with a Flock of Sheep Crossing a Bridge, with a Calf, Sheep and Pigs in the Foregound (1801), his The Farm Yard with the Cock (c.1806-7), his A Pig Sty and Horses and Pigs (1807), undated Pig. Verso: Pigs, and his c.1830 Geese and Goslings Hissings at Pigs.

  36. Beale, Natural History, 47, 163. Whales were, perhaps, surprisingly central to the history of geology in the period, their skeletal scale crucial in enabling early paleontologists to imagine the appearance of prehistoric megafauna. For more, see Martin S. Rudwick, Scenes from Deep Time: Early Pictorial Representations of the Prehistoric World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 10.

  37. Beale, Natural History, 70, 166-167.

  38. Scoresby, Account, 471-472.

  39. Scoresby, Account, 93, 154, 499, 504, 509-510.

  40. Scoresby, Account, 520, 529, 546.

  41. Scoresby, Account, 93, 472, 475.

  42. David Blayney Brown, Amy Concannon, and Sam Smiles, eds, Late Turner: Painting Set Free (London: Tate, 2014), 51, 170-173.

  43. Blayney Brown, Concannon, and Smiles, eds, Late Turner, 51, 170-173, 186. For more, see Leslie Carlyle, The Artist’s Assistant: Oil Painting Instruction Manuals and Handbooks in Britain 1800 to 1900 with Reference to Selected Eighteenth-Century Sources (London: Archetype, 2001), 113-118, 409-410.

  44. Blayney Brown, Concannon, and Smiles, eds, Late Turner, 51, 170-173, 186.

  45. Peter Bower, Turner’s Papers: A Study of the Manufacture, Selection, and Use of His Drawing Papers, 1787-1820 (London: Tate, 1990), 24-25, 50, 77. For more, see pages 54, 77, 110. I am grateful to Amy Concannon for talking to me about the potential relevance of sizing in this context, and for an, in some ways, parallel reading of the iconography of Turner’s materials in relation to his subject matter in the Whaling sketchbooks, see Concannon’s essay in this grouping.

  46. For more on the idea of the grievable, in relation to human subjects, see Judith Butler, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? (London: Verso, 2009).

  47. Cary Wolfe, citing Bruno Latour, in What is Posthumanism? (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), xx; and Cary Wolfe, Animal Rites: American Culture, The Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 23, 120.

  48. For more on the latter, see John Gage, Turner: Rain, Steam, and Speed (New York: Viking, 1972).

  49. I owe the distinction between “vegan media” and “(non-vegan) media” to Wright, Vegan Studies Project, 2, 140.

  50. Sara Salih, ‘Vegans on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’, in Nik Taylor and Richard Twine, eds, The Rise of Critical Animal Studies: From the Margins to the Centre (London: Routledge, 2014), 52-68; 57-59, 61-64. I am grateful to Ben Westwood for encouraging me to go back and think about Sara Salih’s article with this perceptual, rather than ‘merely’ emotional, breaking down in mind.

  51. For good introductions to ideas of posthumanism, see Wolfe, What is Posthumanism? and Neil Badminton, ed. Posthumanism (Oxford: Palgrave, 2000).

  52. Julie Andreyev, ‘The Compassion Manifesto: An Ethics for Art + Design And Animals’, in Castricano and Simonsen, eds, Critical Perspectives on Veganism, 155-180; 156-159, 162.

  53. Michael D. Sloane, ‘Dark Veganism: The Instrumental Intimacies of Matthew Herbert’s One Pig’, in Castricano and Simonsen, eds, Critical Perspectives, 123-154; 124-125, 127-128, 133, 139, 144. For a reading of potential feline agency in Turner’s facture, and one apparently supported by the painter himself, see my ‘Turner and the Whale/rs’, in Turner and the Whale, especially pages 86-87.

  54. For representative positions in the world art history debate, see James Elkins, ed. Is Art History Global? (London: Routledge, 2007) in which there is no entry for ‘animals’ in the index. John M. Mackenzie’s The Empire of Nature (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988) represents an early outlier recognizing the centrality of animals to British imperial history.

  55. Joseph Roach, Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), xi, 4.

  56. Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (London: Verso, 1993). For an earlier range of art historical responses to these debates, see Geoff Quilley and Kay Dian Kriz, eds, An Economy of Colour: Visual Culture and the Atlantic World, 1660-1830 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003). For a bravura series of readings of British marine painting in the context of what Hughes calls “the growth in Atlantic studies, black history, the history of slavery, and subaltern studies” (59), see Spreading Canvas, 59 and inter alia.

  57. For what might be ethically at stake in comparing human and animal slavery from a critical race studies perspective, see Marjorie Spiegel, The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery (New York: Mirror, 1996). For more on the history and meaning of black lives matter, see https://blacklivesmatter.com

  58. Conceptualisations of tragedy, in literary and theatrical terms, from classical antiquity onwards, have centred on human protagonists. I again use the term ‘tragedy’ self-consciously here, to raise the status of the deaths of animals from an interchangeable, quotidian event in the commodity chain that can easily be ignored or forgotten, to a singular event with memorable and dramatic emotional and ethical significance. For an, in some ways, parallel move, see Kyveli Lignou-Tsamantani’s essay on scrimshaw in this group.

  59. For an oral history of Arctic whaling from the Inuit perspective, see Dorothy Harley Eber, When the Whalers Were Up North: Inuit Memories from the Eastern Arctic (Boston: David R. Godine, 1989). For a more detailed account of Anglo-Inuit relations in the nineteenth century, see my other essay in this grouping.