Big Franklin Book Visits The Explorers Club


The Big Franklin Book visits The Explorers Club

Join The Explorers Club on Thursday, March 21st to learn about some new discoveries regarding an infamous tragedy of early Arctic exploration.

Click here to go to The Explorers Club calendar.


Urged on by the late Louie Kamookak, the celebrated Inuit oral historian, Ken McGoogan set out to discover the reality behind the myth of Sir John Franklin as Arctic Hero. In Searching for Franklin, while drawing on his own engagement with the north, he intertwines two main stories. In 1821, while leading the Royal Navy’s first overland Arctic expedition, John Franklin rejected the advice of an outstanding Dene leader, Akaitcho, and so ended up losing eleven of his twenty men to starvation, murder, and cannibalism. Yet back in England, when he published his official narrative of this nightmare, he was lionized as The Man Who Ate His Boots. Then, while leading an 1840s voyage of great expectations, Franklin got trapped in the Arctic ice and lost two ships and 129 lives, including his own. This time he was celebrated as a hero who died while discovering the Northwest Passage. Searching for Franklin challenges these visions. The book rejects old orthodoxies, incorporates contemporary science, and proposes a new answer to that most haunting of Arctic mysteries: what was the root cause of the catastrophe that engulfed the final Franklin expedition?


Streaming live here on, our YouTube Channel, and our Facebook Live — Thursday, March 21st at 7:00 pm ET.


This will be an in-person lecture at Explorers Club Headquarters.

In-person tickets are $15 for Members, and $30 for the General Public.

Check-in will begin at 6:00 pm, with a beer and wine reception from 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Ken will give a slideshow presentation and then chat onstage with Philip Turner, a veteran New York City publisher and consultant with  a long-standing interest in all things Arctic and Canadian. 
Ken McGoogan is a globe-trotting Canadian author who has published sixteen books, among them six about Arctic exploration. In the late 1990s, during a three-month “press fellowship” at University of Cambridge, he began writing Fatal Passage, a biography of explorer John Rae. That work won awards, inspired an acclaimed docudrama, and launched him into writing books full time. His bestselling titles include Dead Reckoning, Race to the Polar Sea, and Lady Franklin’s Revenge. Born in Montreal, raised in Quebec, Ken survived shipwreck off Dar es Salaam, paid homage to John Rae in the Arctic, and chased the ghost of Jane Lady Franklin around Tasmania. His accolades include the Pierre Berton Award, the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize, and the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography.  Ken is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, teaches writing at University of King’s College, and voyages with Adventure Canada as a resource historian.

Leave a Comment