Ice Blink: The Tragic Fate of Sir John Franklin's Lost Polar Expedition
"Absorbing.artfully narrat[es] a possible course of events in the expedition's demise, based on the one official note and bits of debris (including evidence of cannibalism) found by searchers sent to look for Franklin in the 1850s. Adventure readers will flock to this fine regaling of the enduring mystery surrounding the best-known disaster in Arctic exploration."--Booklist
"A great Victorian adventure story rediscovered and re-presented for a more enquiring time."--The Scotsman
"A vivid, sometimes harrowing chronicle of miscalculation and overweening Victorian pride in untried technology.a work of great compassion."--The Australian
It has been called the greatest disaster in the history of polar exploration. Led by Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, two state-of-the-art ships and 128 hand-picked men----the best and the brightest of the British empire----sailed from Greenland on July 12, 1845 in search of the elusive Northwest Passage. Fourteen days later, they were spotted for the last time by two whalers in Baffin Bay. What happened to these ships----and to the 129 men on board----has remained one of the most enduring mysteries in the annals of exploration. Drawing upon original research, Scott Cookman provides an unforgettable account of the ill-fated Franklin expedition, vividly reconstructing the lives of those touched by the voyage and its disaster. But, more importantly, he suggests a human culprit and presents a terrifying new explanation for what triggered the deaths of Franklin and all 128 of his men. This is a remarkable and shocking historical account of true-life suspense and intrigue.
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Coincidentally, they were the same vessels Franklin had inspected during his last
, grim days in Van Diemen's Land. HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were so-called
bomb ships — shore bombardment vessels designed to withstand the crushing
recoil of 5- ton mortars firing 13-inch shells packed with 200 pounds of explosive.
As such, they were built extraordinarily strong out of English oak, with ribs and
beams up to lVi-feet square. To provide a stable gun platform, they had a wide
Consequently both vessels were great favorites with the public and symbols of
national pride, which, among their other attributes, made them ideal for Barrow's
purpose. Erebus was a Hecla class bomb ship, the largest and last purpose- built
bomb vessel commissioned by the Royal Navy. Launched at Pembroke
Dockyard in 1826, she was the biggest ship Barrow had sent in search of the
Passage — some 372 tons, 105 feet long with a 29-foot beam. Terror was an
older (launched ...
Burning some 2 to 3 tons of coal a day allowed thirty to forty-five days' steaming
time and considerably more if, as expected, the vessels relied primarily on sail
and employed the engines intermittently to pick a path through the ice. Time
enough, Barrow hoped, to get the ships through the Passage in the summer
season. In event of calamity, Barrow provided for that as well. Each vessel was "
equipped with boats which were to be of sufficient capacity to carry all of the crew
if the vessel ...
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - CasaBooks - LibraryThing
Heard about this particular book from a client who had a family member searching by air for any remains/artifacts from this expedition. It's of great interest and I have other books on the subject ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - waltzmn - LibraryThing
The problem of historical mysteries is that they are often very hard to solve. The problem with mystical historians is that they often think they can solve them anyway. We know, in very broad outline ... Read full review
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