Two newly discovered ships which sank in the Arctic ice 170 years ago may hold clues to the fate of explorer, Captain Francis Crozier, who led the doomed Franklin expedition’s fight for survival. Updated biography with new chapters, maps and photographs.
Captain Francis Crozier was a major figure in 19th century Arctic and Antarctic exploration who led the doomed Franklin Expedition’s battle to survive against the odds. It is a compelling story which refuses to be laid to rest and recent discovery of his lost ships above the Arctic Circle gives it a new urgency.
The ships may hold vital clues to how two navy vessels and 129 men disappeared 170 years ago and why Crozier, in command after Franklin’s early death, left the only written clue to the biggest disaster in Polar history.
Drawn from historic records and modern revelations, this is the only comprehensive account of Crozier’s extraordinary life. It is a tale of a great explorer, a lost love affair and an enduring mystery.
Crozier’s epic story began comfortably in Banbridge, Co Down and involved six gruelling expeditions on three of the 19th century’s great endeavours – navigating the North West Passage, reaching the North Pole and mapping Antarctica. But it ended in disaster.
There's no better portrait of Francis Crozier than the one Smith gives us -- with all his bright and cloudy moments interwoven … The major new chapter is the last, "Lost and Found," which recounts, as promised on the cover, the "sensational discovery of the ships." It's a dramatic and succinct account, and the best so far to have appeared in book form … let us welcome this new edition, and the strong, contrasted portrait of Crozier's career that it brings. It bears clear witness to (as the Crozier memorial in Banbridge puts it) to his "unbending integrity and truthfulness" as well as to his "extreme amiability"-- and, as was Crozier himself, Smith's book is very good company indeed
A brilliant new book … a real polar page turner
The details of what transpired over three terrible years on the Arctic ice are still unknown, but Michael Smith, in concentrating not on the celebrated Franklin, but on Captain Francis Crozier, throws fascinating new light on the saga…this book is about more than polar exploration; it is a full biography of a remarkable and modest Irishman, of Victorian sentiment and politics, and of superhuman courage. Read it, but be sure to be sitting somewhere warm while doing so
Smith does a great job of piecing together the evidence into a compelling narrative… The truth may never be known but hopes were given a boost with the recent discovery of the wrecks of Erebus and Terror. The painstaking process of analysing them has begun but it will be years before definitive conclusions can be drawn.