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The Journey to the Polar Sea   By: (1786-1847)

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THE JOURNEY TO THE POLAR SEA

BY SIR JOHN FRANKLIN

Everyman, I will go with thee, and be thy guide, In thy most need to go by thy side.

(This is Number 447 of Everyman's Library)

INTRODUCTION BY CAPTAIN R.F. SCOTT.

JOHN FRANKLIN, born in 1786. Many naval experiences, including Trafalgar, before heading an expedition across northern Canada in 1819. Elected F.R.S. and knighted after a second expedition. Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land, 1836 to 1843. Last expedition, 1845, was lost, and Franklin died in 1847 near the Arctic. Subsequent investigations have established him as the discoverer of the North West Passage.

THE JOURNEY

TO THE POLAR SEA.

SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.

INTRODUCTION.

In days of hurried action I have been astonished at the depth of interest which a re perusal of this wonderful old narrative has held for me. Wonderful it is in its simplicity and its revelation of the simplicity of character and faith of the man who wrote it. It is old only by comparison scarcely ninety years have elapsed since the adventures it described were enacted yet such a period has never held a fuller measure of change or more speedily passed current events into the limbo of the past.

Nothing could more vividly impress this change than the narrative itself. We are told that Mr. Beck missed his ship at Yarmouth but succeeded in rejoining her at Stromness, having travelled "nine successive days almost without rest." What a vision of post chaises, sweating horses and heavy roads is suggested! And if the contrast with present day conditions in our own Islands is great, how much greater is it in that vast Dominion through which Franklin directed his pioneer footsteps. As he followed the lonely trails to Fort Cumberland, or sailed along the solitary shores of Lake Winnipeg, how little could he guess that in less than a century a hundred thousand inhabitants would dwell by the shore of the great lake, or that its primeval regions would one day provide largely the bread of his countrymen.

There civilisation has followed fast indeed, and ever it presses forward on the tracks of the pioneer. But even today if we follow Franklin we must come again to the wild to the great Barren Lands and to the ice bound limit of a Continent regions where for ninety years season has succeeded season without change where few have passed since his day and Nature alone holds sway. For those who would know what IS as well as for those who would know what HAS BEEN, this narrative still holds its original interest; all must appreciate that it records the work of a great traveller and a gallant man whose fame deserves to live.

R.F. SCOTT.

...

SIR JOHN FRANKLIN'S VOYAGES INTO THE POLAR SEAS:

F.W. Beechey: Voyage of Discovery toward the North Pole in H.M. Ships Dorothea and Trent (with summary of earlier attempts to reach the Pacific by the North) 1818.

Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the Years 1819 to 1822, by John Franklin, 1823, 1824.

Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea in the Years 1825 to 1827, by John Franklin, 1828.

PUBLICATIONS CONCERNING THE SEARCH FOR SIR JOHN FRANKLIN:

Report of the Committee appointed by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to inquire into and report on the Recent Arctic Expeditions in search of Sir John Franklin, 1851.

Papers relative to the Recent Arctic Expeditions in search of Sir John Franklin and the Crews of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror, 1854.

Further Papers relative to the Search, 1855.

R. King, The Franklin Expedition from First to Last, 1855.

R. Huish, Recent Expeditions to the Polar Regions, including all the Voyages in search of Sir J. Franklin, 1855.

E.K. Kane, Arctic Explorations, the Second Grinnell Expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, 1856.

MacClintock, The Voyage of the Fox in the Arctic Seas. A narrative of the discovery of the fate of Sir John Franklin, 1859, 1861, 1869, 1908.

Sir J. Leslie, Discovery and Adventure in the Polar Seas, with a Narrative of the Recent Expeditions in search of Sir John Franklin, 1860... Continue reading book >>




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