Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Edward Wakefield on The Whale and Whaling

Edward Wakefield (1774-1854) surveyed the progress of cetology in a four part series on "The Whale and Whaling," published 1844-5 in Peter Lund Simmonds's Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany. In addition to the classic studies by French naturalists, Wakefield relied on and extensively quoted from more recent books by Thomas Beale and William Scoresby Jr. Another of Wakefield's acknowledged authorities was Ernst Dieffenbach. As reported in January 2013 on Antipodean Footnotes, the Dunedin City Library has Wakefield's annotated copy of the two-volume Travels in New Zealand (London, 1843):
"The sections most heavily marked up are Dieffenbach's general remarks (with attention paid mainly to New Zealand's natural resources), and his chapters on whales and whalers, geological features, Māori customs and language, and the nature and impact of disease on Māori. Nearly all of Wakefield's annotations do not comment on the text or record his thoughts about it, but serve rather as handy reference points to paragraphs or sentences of particular interest." --Antipodean Footnotes
Four installments of "The Whale and Whaling" by Edward Wakefield are accessible online via Google Books; and also courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
  • No. 1.— Its Chronological History. Simmonds's Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany Volume 2 (July 1844) pages 325-342.
also available courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
Another item in the last number of this volume gives news of "Renewed French Aggression at Tahiti--Imprisonment and Banishment of the British Consul." (Pritchard, mentioned in Typee, chapter 3 with the anecdote about his courageous wife.)
  • No. 2.— Its Natural History. Simmonds's Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany Volume 3 (September-December 1844) pages 49-72.
  • Essay 3.— The Natural History of Other Whales. Simmonds's Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany Volume 3 (September-December 1844) pages 336-357.
 At the end of "Essay 4" Wakefield looks forward to another installment which I have not found:
"The next Essay will be an account of the catching of the Whale, by both shore-parties, and ships built and equipped expressly for the purpose."  
Volume 9 (September-December 1846) of P. L. Simmonds's Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany contains an article "By the Editor" on The Whale-Fisheries of Great Britain and the United States, compared, at pages 471-489.

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