Best books about what happened to Franklin

I did not set out to write six books about Arctic exploration. By the mid-1990s, while working full-time as a journalist, I had published three novels. I proposed to become a celebrated novelist. But then, during a three-month stint at the University of Cambridge, I discovered Arctic explorer John Rae–and that he had been denied…

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Early Inuit explorers of Great Britain

Part 3: Once More Into the Passage Early in the nineteenth century, as more and more British whalers and explorers turned up in the Arctic, at least two young Inuit found ways to reverse the usual direction of exploration. John Sakeouse and Eenoolooapik went from their Arctic homes to the UK and caused quite a…

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Awe of the Arctic dazzles as visual history

Great news for Arctic aficionados who can’t get to New York City between now and July 14. The art exhibition at The New York Public Library, The Awe of the Arctic, has been turned into a spectacular hardcover book. Curator Elizabeth Cronin provided me with an advance copy when I visited the show itself and…

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Stars come out for The Big Franklin Book

Whitehorse & Sudbury papers light way to solving mystery By Dan Davidson / Whitehorse Star Ken McGoogan has been fascinated, one might even say obsessed, with the history of Arctic exploration, especially as it relates to Sir John Franklin, and to those explorers who pursued what Pierre Berton called The Arctic Grail in his book…

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Nunatsiaq News breaks Big Franklin story

‘I think I’ve figured it out’: Author prowls mystery of Franklin expedition. In his new book, Ken McGoogan links parasites in bear meat to explorers’ deaths. By Madalyn Howitt For Arctic explorer Ken McGoogan, each trip he takes is a chance to fulfil a quest. “I almost can’t travel anywhere without some kind of a…

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Let’s Chase Franklin into the Arctic

Adventure Canada is making it happen. Early this autumn, we’ll be chasing Franklin Into the Northwest Passage — sailing on August 27 from Greenland and emerging September 12 at Kugluktuk. Along the way we’ll visit Beechey Island, the most famous historical site in the Arctic, where in 1846 John Franklin buried the first three sailors…

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Chasing Kane from Beechey to Greenland

PART 2 of Once More Into the Passage: As author-historian Ken McGoogan prepares to sail again Into the  Passage, he reflects on what he has learned from following in the wake of Elisha Kent Kane. In the second installment of this six-part series, published on the Adventure Canada website, Ken starts on Beechey Island and…

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Solving an Arctic riddle in New York City

Fri. Mar 22, 2024 2:00pm – 3:00pm EDT Author-historian Ken McGoogan offers a surprising new explanation for the mysterious demise of the 1845 Franklin Expedition.  Two of Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin’s expeditions were monumental failures—the last led to over a hundred deaths, including his own. Somehow he remains to many a heroic figure who…

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