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Framing the transit: expeditionary culture and identities in Lieutenant E.J.W. Noble’s caricatures of the 1874 transit of Venus expedition to Honolulu

Higgitt, Rebekah F. (2017) Framing the transit: expeditionary culture and identities in Lieutenant E.J.W. Noble’s caricatures of the 1874 transit of Venus expedition to Honolulu. Annals of Science, 74 (3). pp. 214-239. ISSN 0003-3790. E-ISSN 1464-505X. (doi:10.1080/00033790.2017.1328074)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00033790.2017.1328074

Abstract

Making use of a source previously unknown to historians, this article sheds new light on the British expedition to the Sandwich Islands to observe the 1874 transit of Venus. This source, a series of caricature drawings that follow the expedition from departure to return, gives insight into expeditionary culture and the experience of a previously unremarked member of this astronomical expedition, Evelyn J.W. Noble, a career officer of the Royal Marine Artillery. They also reveal overlapping military, scientific and masculine identities, developed in dialogue with, and often deliberately subverting, more public accounts. The article explores this unique source as a product of naval, imperial and expeditionary cultures; as a contribution to the wide textual and visual culture that surrounded the transit expeditions; and as a series of drawings that united the expedition members through the use of humour and irony, by differentiating the group from others they encountered, and by reflecting or rejecting ideas about the nature of scientific work and personae. The artist represented himself not as a serving officer but as part of a (mostly) united group, dedicated to but humorously self-deprecating about their contribution to the scientific effort

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/00033790.2017.1328074
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Rebekah Higgitt
Date Deposited: 08 May 2017 15:38 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:02 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/61652 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Higgitt, Rebekah F.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9387-4150
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