Monday, 28 August 2017

Game of Thrones... On Ice





The choice of the ‘HOPE ON HOPE EVER’ sledge flag as the signature image for the exhibition 'Death In The Ice: The Shocking Story Of Franklin’s Final Expedition', currently on at the National Maritime Museum, is a masterstroke in my opinion.

This flag, sewn by Jane Lady Franklin in 1852 for the final goverment searching expedition, neatly summarises the last desperate hopes of the families and loved ones of the 129 men who by that date had been missing for nearly seven years.

The use of embroidered banners inspired by medieval heraldry had an interesting origin and would have a remarkable future.

Sir Walter Scott, whose novel Ivanhoe, set in 12th-century England and first published in 1820 has been credited as the influence which "first turned men's minds in the direction of the Middle Ages".

An earlier work by Scott, the narrative poem 'The Lady of the Lake' includes the character James Fitz-James who provided the name for the First Officer of HMS Erebus.

At length his rank the stranger names,
The Knight of Snowdoun, James Fitz-James;
Lord of a barren heritage,

The illegitimate son of Sir James Gambier, Commander FitzJames was known by some in that family as "Our Lord of Snoudoun". The late William Battersby suggested that this was also a clue to the name of Fitzjames' Mother.

The sphere of romantic medievalism was greatly boosted in 1839 by the Eglinton Tournament which involved forty knights in armour plus their entourages and drew a crowd of 100,000. The spectacle was unfortunately marred by torrential rain.



Five weeks later Erebus and Terror, commanded by of James Clark Ross and Francis Crozier, set sail for the Antarctic regions.

The sledges of the various Franklin search expeditions usually carried flags with an ecclectic collection of inspiring phrases or family mottoes. They also served a practical purpose in that they enabled individual sledges to be identified at telescope distance.

Clement Markham, who, as a Naval Midshipman, had participated in the search for Franklin in the 1850's, elevated the art of sledge flags to a new height for the 1870 Nares Arctic expedition. Markham's banners were closely modelled on medieval standards, each carrying the family crest and colours of the officer who carried them. Decades later, as the driving force behind Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic expeditions, Markham would ensure that his medieval banners were carried to the South Pole.




It has been suggested that the nostalgic sentiments with which Markham imbued Scott's expeditions played a part in making that saga a tragedy rather than the intended triumph.

The spirit of Medievalism, a defining characteristic of the long Victorian age, remains strong to this day.

Further reading:
Barbara Tomlinson, 2001, Chivalry at the Poles: British Sledge Flags.

5 comments:

  1. Excellent post, as always Peter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haven't you heard about global hacking company blank ATM card and how other people had benefited from it? I am Williams vivian by name, i want to share a blog and forums on how to get real blank ATM card,thank to global hacking company who helped me with an already hacked ATM CARD and i was so poor without funds that i got frustrated. One morning as i was browsing on the internet, i saw different comments of people testifying of how global hacking company helped him from being poor to a rich man through this already hacked ATM CARD. I was skeptical if this was true, i decided to contact him to know if he is real he proved to me beyond all doubts that its was really for real so i urgently receive my blank ATM card. Contact his email globalhackingcompany@gmail.com or WhatsApp +1(929)390-8581 and today am also testifying on how global hacking company helped me. I never believed in it until the card was sent to me, which am using today Contact the company now and become rich. Email: globalhackingcompany@gmail.com or WhatsApp +1(929)390-8581 ....

      Delete
  2. Very educational post! I learned things today.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just wanted to drop by and say I appreciate the work your put into this blog. I've read it many times over.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Haven't you heard about global hacking company blank ATM card and how other people had benefited from it? I am Williams vivian by name, i want to share a blog and forums on how to get real blank ATM card,thank to global hacking company who helped me with an already hacked ATM CARD and i was so poor without funds that i got frustrated. One morning as i was browsing on the internet, i saw different comments of people testifying of how global hacking company helped him from being poor to a rich man through this already hacked ATM CARD. I was skeptical if this was true, i decided to contact him to know if he is real he proved to me beyond all doubts that its was really for real so i urgently receive my blank ATM card. Contact his email globalhackingcompany@gmail.com or WhatsApp +1(929)390-8581 and today am also testifying on how global hacking company helped me. I never believed in it until the card was sent to me, which am using today Contact the company now and become rich. Email: globalhackingcompany@gmail.com or WhatsApp +1(929)390-8581 ....

    ReplyDelete

In the footsteps of Franklin - Adventure Science video clips

Early in 2018, I was asked to do some on-screen interviews about the Franklin expedition to be used in the promotional material for Adv...