Title: The Voyage of the 'Fox' in Arctic Seas. A ...
Publisher: John Murray, London
Publication Date: 1859
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: G+
Edition: First Edition.
8vo. xxvii [1, blank], 403, +1 page of publisher's adverts at the end, with tissue-guarded frontispiece, facsimile document, 14 other illustrations & 4 maps. Edges untrimmed. Title page, frontispiece and two other pages strengthened in the gutter with professional paper reinforcement. New endpapers professionally and sympathetically added. Marginally very slightly thumb-marked. 15 x 23 cm. Original blue embossed cloth recased with original spine (slightly worn). Upper panel with gilt design of ship the "Fox" (somewhat spotted and marked with historic stains). Corners very slightly worn.The Franklin Search ExpeditionsThe fate of Sir John Franklin, and the search to discover it, dominated the 19th century mind and inspired countless legendary exploration tales. After several overland journeys into the interior of North America, Franklin's search for the Northwest Passage began on 19 May 1845, when he sailed from England with two ships, the Erebus and the Terror, carrying 128 officers and men. The vessels were last sighted by British whalers north of Baffin Island at the entrance to Lancaster Sound in late July of that year. In 1847, when no word had been received, search parties were sent out. For 12 years, various expeditions sought the explorers, but their fate was unknown until 1859, when a final search mission, sent in 1857 by Franklin's second wife, Lady Jane Franklin, and headed by Captain Francis Leopold McClintock, reached King William Island, southwest of Lancaster Sound. Found were skeletons of the vessels' crews and a written account of the expedition through April 25, 1848. The sunken ships Erebus and Terror themselves were only very recently discovered, in October 2014 and September 2016 respectively, and their contents are currently undergoing salvage and study.
McClintock was selected by Franklin's widow to track down the remains of Franklin's disastrous Royal Naval Arctic expedition, when its fate remained ambivalent. It is the narrative of courage, unflappability & perseverance in the face of extreme hardship in the effort to track down colleagues, and McClintock volunteered his services to Lady Franklin for free. A good copy.