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History Polar Regions

In Those Days: Tales of Arctic Whaling

Tales of Arctic Whaling

by (author) Kenn Harper

Inhabit Media
Initial publish date
Aug 2018
Polar Regions, General, Native American
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2018
    List Price

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In this third volume of In Those Days, Harper shares stories of the rise and fall of the whaling industry in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. At the turn of the nineteenth century, whale baleen and blubber were extremely valuable commodities, and so sailors braved the treacherous Arctic waters, risking starvation, scurvy, and death, to bring home the bounty of the North. The presence of these whalemen in the North would irrevocably alter the lives of Inuit.
Along with first-hand accounts from journals and dozens of rare, historical photographs, this collection includes the myth of the Octavius—a ship that drifted for twelve years with a frozen crew—encounters between sailors and Inuit, tales of the harrowing hazing rituals suffered by first-time crew members, and much more.

About the author

Kenn Harper lived in the Arctic for 50 years in Inuit communities in Canada and in Qaanaaq, Greenland. He has worked as a teacher, historian, linguist, and businessman. He speaks Inuktitut, and has written extensively on Northern history and language. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a recipient of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee Medal, and a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog (Denmark). Harper is the author of the bestselling Give Me My Father's Body, with a forthcoming new edition entitled Minik: The New York Eskimo.

Kenn Harper's profile page


  • Unknown, Canadian Geographic — 14 Best Books of 2018

Editorial Reviews

"In this third volume of his In Those Days series, historian Kenn Harper gives a rare glimpse into the treacherous lives of 19th-century Arctic whalers, who followed the bowhead whale migration into the Canadian Arctic. Through harrowing first-hand accounts from journals and rare historical photographs, the book tells the stories of Arctic whalers, their pursuit of whale bone and oil, and the lasting impression they left on the Inuit with whom they interacted."—Canadian Geographic

Other titles by Kenn Harper