Talk:Carsten Borchgrevink

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Featured article Carsten Borchgrevink is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on December 1, 2014.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
October 24, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
February 4, 2009 Peer review Reviewed
February 10, 2009 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Carsten Borchgrevink/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I would dispute the very start of an otherwise excellent article. I dont`t feel that Anglo-Norwegian polar explorer is the correct term, when he is in fact norwegian. I believe it give the wrong impression to people reading about him for the first time. As a compromise one can just say: .....was born in Norway in 1864. Regards Erik Borchgrevink (distant relative) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Erikborc (talkcontribs) 23:57, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to be reviewing this over the next 24 hours, hopefully.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:15, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to see some work on this article before deciding on pass/fail, which is a polite way of saying that as of right now, I don't think it passes. Here is what stands out to me:

Lede: precursor? Odd word. Why not predecessor?

  • "Precursor" is a perfectly normal, common English word meaning forerunner. It means the same as predecessor - what is the objection to its use?

Call it personal preference, but I think predecessor is better, prose wise, but I'm not insisting on it. "Introduced to the world of exploration". Again, odd phrasing. You have a tendency throughout the article to use the passive voice unnecessarily, which deprives the reader of the opportunity to know exactly who did/ordered what. There are several instances in the article.

  • "He began his exploring career" is probably better. As to the "several instances", I need to know what they are.

I'll list them when I get a chance

Effectively abandoned: Well, if he didn't go back south, just say so. The West Indies thing sounds like it could be interesting, especially if he studied the Mt. Pelee disaster. Maybe expand a bit in the body, if you have the refs?

  • He didn't go back south, but didn't altogether abandon the idea of going south, as covered in the text. That is what I meant by "effectively abandoned". I have replaced "effectively abandoned" with "retired from". As to the West Indies expedition, there is no information avaiable in any sources I have found, beyond what I have stated here, so I don't know about Mt Pelee. Borchgrevink is (perhaps undeservedly) a relatively minor figure in exploration circles; there is no biography, and reliable information, particularly relating to anything outside his polar work, is quite hard to find.

Too bad, and I think you've done a good job with what you have.

I think the lede is overweighted towards the life he led after he "retired". If he is notable for his exploration work, that is where the bulk of the lede should be. WP:LEDE

  • That is where the bulk of the lead is. Only the last five lines deal with his "retired" life, and much of this is related to the tributes he received for his polar work. There is little opportunity, in my view, for trimming this, but I will see what is possible.

Early life: Where's Saxony? I know, but does the reader? "may have been sparked" Why isn't that speculation? If you are going to use it, attribute it inline to someone.

  • This rapid-fire review style is disconcerting, but: Saxony is linked, which I would have thought was enough, but I have added "in Germany" to be safe. "May have been sparked" is not speculation because it's what the source says - the citation is at the end of the sentence. To have two citations in the same relatively short sentence is surely unnecessary. To be absolutely precise, the source says "stimulated", not "sparked", so I have changed the text to that.

Just "Germany" is fine. That's standard WP practice. Sorry about the rapidfire, I'm preferring content over style.

Voyage of the Antarctic: Start by making it clear what the relevance is to Borchgrevink. Bull hired him? Say so in the first sentence, otherwise the reader spends too much time wondering what the relevance is! Just move the info from the previous paragraph to this one. What was he doing in Melbourne anyway? Melbourne isn't in New South Wales. Was he staying there hoping to hire on? Split up the second paragraph. Surely the first landing (maybe) on Antarctica deserves its own paragraph?

  • That machine-gun again. Is this how you always talk to people? Anyway, I've followed your suggestion of transferring the last bit of the previous section to the start of this one. As to why he was in Melbourne, the cited text says that he followed Antarctic news (I have deleted the word "avidly" as smacking of POV). It is therefore reasonable to assume he knew of Bull's arrival in Melbourne. I have split the paragraph as you suggest.

That's fine.

I'd make it clear that he didn't analyze the lichens himself (unless he did, in which case say so). There seems to be a gap between the end of the Antarctic and the Southern Cross. Where did the Antarctic let him off? Did he take ship for Britain from Melbourne or something?

  • The sources don't say who exactly did this analysis, referring only to the "scientific community" I have slightly altered the wording to make it clear that it wasn't Borchgrevink himself.


Southern Cross: Cite after every direct quotation, even where it is ridiculous or they will nail you for this during FAC.

  • Not in my experience, when the two quotes are obviously from the same cited statement and are linked by a short phrase. However, you have inadvertently drawn my attention to the phase "hopefully adding", which should be, and now is, "adding hopefully". I'll take my chances on the citation.

I'd say "The Congress" rather than "Congress", which is generally reserved for the U.S. Congress (or its predecessors). The sentence about the resolution kinda implies Borchgrevink was seeking specific endorcement by resolution from it. Clear this up one way or the other.

  • I've made it "The Congress". Borchgrevink was no doubt hoping for endorsement, but didn't get it. However, since the refusal to endorse him isn't covered by the source, I've withdrawn the phrase.

"that boded well" Odd place to leave off a quote. Usually, "boded well" doesn't end a quote, it could be something like "boded well for any expedition with Borchgrevink aboard" but boded well by itself doesn't mean much.

  • "that boded well for exploration" is what Mill said, and I've extended the quote. He didn't specifically say for explorations led by Borchgrevink

backing for his expedition ideas. If he had a proposed expedition, say so. You kinda imply it in the first sentence, but if he had a solid proposal, mention it.

  • The previous para, summarising his address to the Congress, specifies the nature of his expedition ideas, and his preparedness to lead it. What more is necessary?

glories of a half-century previously. My guess is that you are referring to arctic exploration, but I don't know. Enlighten the reader.

  • Extended, to clarify

"It was up a steep hill that I had to roll my Antarctic boulder", he wrote. Who wrote? I assume you mean Borchgrevink, but he's not the last male subject of a sentence in the paragraph, so the reader is going to be confused. If he wrote this significantly later, I would change "wrote" to "recalled" or "recollected".

  • I've clarifed Borchgrevink as the writer. These words were written some four or five years later. However, you can't "recall or "recollect" a metaphor, so I've left it.

Refs 15 and 16. To what do they refer? The financial backing or to the value of money?

  • [15] verifies the financial backing, [16] the modern comparison

Maybe put in a comment clarifying that?

Probably not needed for the mechanic's strike to be from a quotation. You can just say it.

  • I think it needs to be a quote. There is no evidence available that the strike caused the dealy - it may have been Borchgrevink's excuse, who knows?

Since I imagine you are going to nominate for FA once you get past this, you should probably start inserting non breaking spaces between days and months when you are giving a date. They will nail you for this in FAC.

  • FAC is a possibility, but not yet. I have never seen non breaking spaces within dates in Featured Articles and certainly have never used them myself. WP:NBSP says non breaking spaces are a "recommendation" for use in certain cases, and doesn't give dates among the examples.

Suggest you set up for the name of the camp by giving Borchgrevink's mother's full maiden name in "Early Life".

  • Hasn't this been done with "Anne, née Ridley"?

Whoops, my bad. All good responses so far. I've had articles opposed on the nbsp grounds for that.

According to Borchgrevink, sufficient fuel and provisions was left that could have lasted another year. So what? Were they planning to stay another year? If so, say so. What was the purpose of the camp anyway? Just to establish a base in Antarctica? You need to be clearer about why they were there.

  • Yes. I've rewritten the beginning of the paragraph to re-state the expedition's purpose. As to the stores etc, there's no "so what", it's just something Borchgrevink said. Probably he was saying "we could easily stay longer if we wanted". Anyway, it reads a little better with the rewording.

unwelcome competitor for public funds. What public funds? That conveys to me "money from the government"

  • Yup, Markham was touting for Government money for his RGS expedition and saw any other expedition as a possible diversion. (In the end the RGS got £45,000 from the govt, and Borchgrevink zilch, so he worried without cause

Duke of York. I'd add a parenthetical (the future George V, by the way, depending on when Borchgrevink did the naming, he may have been Prince of Wales by then.

You don't need to have the mention of the West Indies expedition back to back. I'd also mention when King Oscar decorated Borchgrevink, since as I recall, Norway and Sweden separated in 1905. Also, when were the Hanson notes lost? If it was in Antarctica, that should be mentioned earlier.

He was a man. Unless it was underlined or something in the original, generally quotes aren't in italics. You might want to put in a comment if that is the case.

OK, clear those things up and I'll take a second look. Leave something on my talk page when you want me to take a look. It is an interesting article, about someone I'd never heard of. The part about the expedition itself is the strong part of the article, it is the build up and tear down where you are having trouble. The story line of a self made foreigner who dissed the English establishment and got an expedition done, not perfectly, but as later recognized, well enough, could be a compelling one.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:48, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

You should consider those changes, but as it stands now, in my view it fits the GA criteria. If you do think of going for FAC, I would advise getting someone to look at the prose.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:07, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

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