Geologist finds relic from Franklin search

Canadian geologist Francis Manns was prospecting for lead and zinc. The mid-summer day was bright and literally endless — 24-hour sunlight. Manns was working his way along the Abbott River in the middle of Cornwallis Island, some distance north of Resolute Bay, when he spotted a cairn on a ridge or pinnacle. “It was two…

Read More

Our Hero sacrifices modesty to preserve insightful review in Cyberspace

Dead Reckoning offers lively account of Inuit contributions to discovery of Northwest Passage Review by Charlie Smith (Georgia Strait, Oct. 22, 2017) Charles Dickens is deservedly seen as the greatest novelist in Victorian England. The author of such masterpieces as David Copperfield and Great Expectations was also an influential social activist, campaigning for various reforms,…

Read More

Dead Reckoning takes us into the secret life of maps

This glorious map turns up as endpapers in Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage. It was drawn by Dawn Huck, one of the principals at Heartland Associates in Winnipeg. I love the way it captures the discovery of the original Northwest Passage in three essential expeditions. The first, led by John Franklin,…

Read More

Advance readers discover ‘a brilliant reclaiming of history’

The advance readers are encouraging. Bob Rae writes: “Finally! A page-turning book about Arctic exploration that puts the heroism and leadership of indigenous people at the centre of the story.” Ronald Wright calls it “a lively and gripping tale of heroism, folly and icy death . . . by highlighting the role of the Inuit,…

Read More

Dead Reckoning goes orange thanks to hard-fought Facebook battle

So there you have it. Orange has won out over blue. The choice was difficult, the battle hard fought. But in the end, our scientific Facebook poll delivered a decisive result: 61% orange, 39% blue. And this on well over 200 votes! If the Brexit debacle or the 2016 American election had produced such clear results, imagine…

Read More

Dead Reckoning takes us to the wreck of John Franklin’s Erebus

To a crazy-busy 2017, the eagerly awaited, double-whammy climax will come in September. First, we go voyaging Out of the Northwest Passage with Adventure Canada. And this being a celebration year (something about Canada’s 150th birthday?), we get to enjoy a special, spectacular treat. Assuming the weather behaves, we will don a dry suit and, accompanied by…

Read More

Confusing poor John Franklin with conquistador Hernan Cortes

The 2014 discovery of Erebus increased interest in the Arctic, where climate change is more in evidence than anywhere else, while inciting commentary that has sometimes gone over the top. “What the Franklin Expedition glorified,” Roy Scranton wrote recently in The Nation, “was the war of Man—white men—against Nature. Franklin was indeed a tragic figure,…

Read More