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The Long March: Exploring the Franklin Expedition

ByBenjamin A. TurnerAustin A. Mardon

The Franklin Expedition of 1845 is an enduring mystery that has captured public imagination for nearly two centuries. Recent research and Inuit testimony have provided long-awaited insights into the final days of the crew and the struggles they faced. This book takes a close look at the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, provides a review of previous Royal Navy Expeditions that set the stage for the Franklin tragedy, and explores the methodology and technologies employed by the Netsilik Inuit who have survived and thrived in the region where the Franklin Expedition met its gruesome end. This book provides a look at the historic elements, biographical information on key players, technological adjustments made to the vessels, and the traditional lifestyle of the Indigenous population to give insight into what it takes to survive in the region. This context offers readers a reasonable understanding of what is believed to have happened on the expedition, including what was done right, what went wrong, and what elements of the expedition were hopeless in the first place. Personal and professional pressures, combined with the previous misadventures of Sir John Franklin when faced with freezing temperatures and the prospect of starvation provide a glimpse into the motivations of the legendary explorer. The critical decision made by Captain Francis Crozier to abandon the ships in April of 1848 and attempt to walk across Kikertak (King William Island) culminated in a torturous effort by the sick and weakened crew; they interacted with the Netsilik, hunted wild game, and journeyed hundreds of kilometers pulling heavy sledges loaded with supplies and their critically ill comrades. Their desperate march south ended with the ultimate act of desperation: the survivors were forced to eat the corpses of their fallen crewmates.


Publication Date
Feb 7, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Benjamin A. Turner, By (author): Austin A. Mardon, By (author): Catherine Mardon, By (author): Jessica Jutras, By (artist): Kim Huynh



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