978-0-7710-1266-2 / 9780771012662

The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the North West Passage and the North Pole 1818-1909 (First Edtiion)


Publisher:McClelland & Stewart



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About the book:

The polar north has always lured the passionate mind, the eccentric, and the damned. Pierre Bertons The Arctic Grail is a substantial chronicle of these explorers, some of whom sought an economical northern route to the East and others adventure and fame, not to mention the backers who supported their primarily marine expeditions. Bertons prose reads like good fiction, providing insight into the lives of the men who journeyed north--and those left behind hoping for their safe return. I would not recall you, wrote Isabella Parry to her absent husband in her diary. Your path leads to glory and honour and never would I turn you from that path when I feel it is the path you ought to go....

The obstinate pride of the planners and leaders of these expeditions commanded respect from their peers despite a recurring failure to learn from past, often fatal errors. The icon of the north, John Franklin, who through his disappearance became the symbol of nineteenth-century Arctic exploration, is but one of the players. Other less familiar names figure in. Theres John Ross, whose 1818 expedition was one of the earliest. And William Edward Parry, whose failed 1824-1825 voyage to find the Northwest Passage resulted in the wrecking of his vessel The Fury. And first officer W. Parker Snow, who specialized in tall tales of the murder of John Franklin by Eskimos. Each contributes to The Arctic Grail a sense of adventure, passion, and perseverance in the face of all that nature can unleash. --Tim Tokaryk

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