After the "discovery" of the New World, travellers, explorers, whalers, missionaries and scholars were inspired by secular rulers and religious authorities to choose new paths in the unexplored far north. The knowledge of the Arctic, which travellers had been communicating first-hand in travel diaries since the 16th century, was valuable and triggered new ideas about man and nature during the European Enlightenment. Voyages to the North Atlantic brought new insights into islands and archipelagos such as Greenland and Spitsbergen, which were considered one until the 18th century, as well as Iceland and the Faroe Islands on the way to the far north. The travel narratives dedicated to these islands have produced different, even contradictory representations of space, culture and nature. The contributions in this volume discuss some of these narratives, from the earliest accounts to those from the 19th century, when they served as a reference for tourist exploration of the Arctic. The volume makes an important contribution to travel writing research, to the history of the islands in the northern Atlantic and to the emergence, dissemination and transformation of knowledge about this distant part of Europe.

The volume includes articles on the discovery of America before Columbus (Martin Krieger), early modern views of Iceland (Sumarliði R Ísleifsson) and (Wacław Pagórski), images of the Inuit in Duch whaling reports (Hans Beelen), a Moravian envoy in Iceland (Joanna Kodzik), Yves Joseph de Kerguelen de Trémarec’s travels (Muriel Brot), the map collection of the National and University of Iceland Library (Jökull Searson), the French expedition La Recherche in Iceland (Jan Borm), Richard Fracis Burto’s voyage to Iceland (Axel E. Walter), Carl Julia Graba’s and Eric Wustmann’s travel writing on the Faroe Islands (Bergur D. Hansen) as well as tourism and health in Spitzbergen (Ulrike Spring).

Jan Borm, Joanna Kodzik and Axel E. Walter (eds.), "Representations of the West Nordic Isles: Greenland – Iceland – Faroe Islands", Kiel: Wachholtz, 2023.