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Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition (2017)

af Paul Watson

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2529106,924 (3.51)15
"A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author of Where War Lives, and expedition member, describes how an unlikely combination of marine science and Inuit knowledge helped solve the mystery of the lost Franklin expedition of 1845"-- The spellbinding story of the greatest cold case in Arctic history-- and how the rare mix of marine science and Inuit knowledge finally led to the recent discovery of the shipwrecks. Spanning nearly 200 years, this book weaves together an account of the legendary Franklin Expedition of 1845-- whose two ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, and their crew of 129 were lost to the Arctic ice-- with the modern tale of the scientists, researchers, divers, and local Inuit behind the recent discoveries of the two ships, which made news around the world. The author, journalist Paul Watson, was on the icebreaker that led the expedition that discovered the HMS Erebus in 2014, and he broke the news of the discovery of the HMS Terror in 2016. In a masterful work of history and contemporary reporting, he tells the full story of the Franklin Expedition: Sir John Franklin and his crew setting off from England in search of the fabled Northwest Passage; the hazards they encountered and the reasons they were forced to abandon ship after getting stuck in the ice hundreds of miles from the nearest outpost of Western civilization; and the dozens of search expeditions over more than 160 years, which collectively have been called "the most extensive, expensive, perverse, and ill-starred ... manhunt in history." All that searching turned up a legendary trail of sailors' relics, a fabled note, a lifeboat with skeletons lying next to loaded rifles, and rumors of cannibalism ... but no sign of the ships until, finally, the discoveries in our own time. As Watson reveals, the epic hunt for the lost Franklin Expedition found success only when searchers combined the latest marine science with faith in Inuit lore that had been passed down orally for generations.--Adapted from jacket.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
This was really really hard to get into, in part because the first 1/3 of the book is taken up by an expedition where literally no one knows what happened to it and a disjointed retelling of some expeditions to go look for them. The book definitely picks up steam when it moves into the more modern researchers and searchers but by then I just wasn't particularly interested or invested. Definitely not "epic." ( )
  Jthierer | Jan 27, 2023 |
In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out with two ships, Erebus and Terror, and a crew of 128 to find the Northwest Passage connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific. The first part describes the preparations, what is known of the voyage, and the many attempts made to locate the lost ships and crew (including guidance from the spirit world.) The second tells of the Inuit’s life in the arctic, oral traditions, superstitions, and their knowledge of the expedition. The third depicts the modern-day search, which eventually resulted in the discovery of both ships.

I had heard of the Franklin Expedition but had never read any detail about its failed attempt. I am impressed by Lady Franklin’s diligence in trying to find her husband. I am glad the Inuit finally got credit for what they knew. If anyone had bothered to listen to them without racial prejudice, more artifacts could have been found closer to the time of the tragedy.

It is more focused on the attempts to find the ships than on the expedition itself. It is for people that do not mind a bit of meandering into topics that are related but not necessarily essential. I gained an understanding of the basics, but there are many remaining questions.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
A compelling read that nevertheless has a few issues. This type of book, a popular narrative history, is always fraught with a number of pitfalls. Watson plays fast and loose with the facts in the historical first half of the book. As many historians do, he gets to pick and choose which facts to emphasize in order to make his read more exciting and make the failures more tragic. A particular example is of the many crackpot psychic explorations of the expedition's fate, Watson focuses on the Weezy episode that happened to accurately locate the disaster. He ignores the scores of wrong examples of clairvoyance.

He does however hit the mark in noting that the Inuit oral tradition indicated where the ships were all along and the Europeans and Americans ignored, misconstrued, or discarded the information because of cultural bias. So-called savages couldn't possibly know what they were talking about.

Watson is on firmer ground when he gets to the modern era of search and discovery.

The sad fact is that the earliest rescue missions might have had a chance of actually saving someone if the focus had been on meeting and interrogating the native peoples instead of relying on their own resources. Nobody ever seems to want to state this explicitly. Instead early rescue efforts often falsely accused the Inuit of murdering and cannibalizing the stranded sailors.

The same sort of bias probably kept the Franklin survivors from asking the Inuit for help that could
have improved their chances of finding food or even just finding their way. Still, it is unclear whether there might be other factors such as weather, bad food (or both), or something else that conspired to hinder their chances of survival. Future research may shed more light on this remaining mystery. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
This is definitely an interesting, informative read. However, it was a bit too long and drawn out for me. There were a lot of various people involved throughout the search, and I had to keep flipping back to remind myself whom they were and their significance. Also, maps in the chapters and even images of any artifacts would have been helpful, especially for the casual reader who is not an expert in Arctic geography. If you are highly interested in the Franklin Expedition, I would recommend; for the semi-interested or casual reader, this book is dense.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* ( )
  JaxlynLeigh | Jul 28, 2019 |
Search for the Franklin ship by many expeditions for more than 150 years. ( )
  dimajazz | Feb 7, 2019 |
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"A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author of Where War Lives, and expedition member, describes how an unlikely combination of marine science and Inuit knowledge helped solve the mystery of the lost Franklin expedition of 1845"-- The spellbinding story of the greatest cold case in Arctic history-- and how the rare mix of marine science and Inuit knowledge finally led to the recent discovery of the shipwrecks. Spanning nearly 200 years, this book weaves together an account of the legendary Franklin Expedition of 1845-- whose two ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, and their crew of 129 were lost to the Arctic ice-- with the modern tale of the scientists, researchers, divers, and local Inuit behind the recent discoveries of the two ships, which made news around the world. The author, journalist Paul Watson, was on the icebreaker that led the expedition that discovered the HMS Erebus in 2014, and he broke the news of the discovery of the HMS Terror in 2016. In a masterful work of history and contemporary reporting, he tells the full story of the Franklin Expedition: Sir John Franklin and his crew setting off from England in search of the fabled Northwest Passage; the hazards they encountered and the reasons they were forced to abandon ship after getting stuck in the ice hundreds of miles from the nearest outpost of Western civilization; and the dozens of search expeditions over more than 160 years, which collectively have been called "the most extensive, expensive, perverse, and ill-starred ... manhunt in history." All that searching turned up a legendary trail of sailors' relics, a fabled note, a lifeboat with skeletons lying next to loaded rifles, and rumors of cannibalism ... but no sign of the ships until, finally, the discoveries in our own time. As Watson reveals, the epic hunt for the lost Franklin Expedition found success only when searchers combined the latest marine science with faith in Inuit lore that had been passed down orally for generations.--Adapted from jacket.

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