An important new contribution to the history of northern Canada and Alaska.
The Making of an Explorer reveals how George Hubert Wilkins' experiences with the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-16 helped a little-known Australian photographer develop into the world-famous polar explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins. Making extensive use of Wilkins' Arctic diary and other sources, both archival and published, Stuart Jenness provides new information about Wilkins, explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the Canadian Arctic Expedition, and the early history of North America's Western Arctic.
Wilkins was originally seconded to Stefansson's Arctic Expedition for a year as its official photographer but circumstances forced him to stay in the Arctic for three years. He spent much of those extra two years in discussion with Stefansson, becoming his life-long friend. "The Making of an Explorer" describes Wilkins' successful expedition to Banks Island in 1914 in search of Stefansson and his subsequent relationship with Stefansson, his significant role and contribution as second-in-command of Stefansson's polar explorations over the next two years, his remarkable collection of films and photographs of the little-known Copper Eskimos in the Central Arctic, and his large but virtually unknown original collection of birds and mammals from Banks Island for the National Museum of Canada.