The Mystery of Captain Francis Crozier and the Franklin Expedition

Michael Smith
Icebound In The Arctic

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.

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308 pages
226x155 mm

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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.

Notes page 9
Introduction: Pointing the Way 11
1 A Bond with History 17
2 To the Arctic 27
3 Seizing the Moment 43
4 A Promise 51
5 Fatal Errors 63
6 Wreck of Fury 70
7 North Pole 79
8 Arctic Rescue 89
9 South 99
10 Flirting with Love 107
11 An Epic Voyage 121
12 Dangerous Waters 133
13 Trembling Hands 145
14 ‘I Am Not Equal to the Hardship’ 157
15 A Sense of Tragedy 172
16 North West Passage 185
17 Ice 197
18 ‘No Cause for Alarm’ 207
19 Breakout 220
20 A Slow Execution 225
21 Unsolved Mystery 235
22 Last Man Standing? 258
23 A Fitting Memorial 263
24 Lost and Found 273
Appendix: Francis Crozier: A Chronology 287
References 289
Bibliography 295
Index 304

Michael Smith is an authority on polar exploration who has appeared on TV and radio and lectured extensively. His books include: An Unsung Hero: Tom Crean; I Am Just Going Outside, a biography of Captain Oates; Polar Crusader about Sir James Wordie; Tom CreanAn Illustrated Life; Great Endeavour – Ireland’s Antarctic Explorers; and Shackleton: By Endurance We Conquer. Michael is also the recipient of awards for his work as a journalist with The Guardian and The Observer.

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