Fatal Passage: The True Story of John Rae, the Arctic Hero Time Forgot

McGoogan, Ken

Published by Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2002
ISBN 10: 0786709936 / ISBN 13: 9780786709939
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pp. 328, "John Rae's accomplishments, surpassing all nineteenth-century Arctic explorers, were worthy of honors and international fame. No explorer even approached Rae's prolific record: 1,776 miles surveyed of uncharted territory; 6,555 miles hiked on snowshoes; and 6,700 miles navigated in small boats. Yet, he was denied fair recognition of his discoveries because he dared to utter the truth about the fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew, Rae's predecessors in the far north. Author Ken McGoogan vividly narrates the astonishing adventures of Rae, who found the last link to the Northwest Passage and uncovered the grisly truth about the cannibalism of Franklin and his crew. A bitter smear campaign by Franklin's supporters would deny Rae his knighthood and bury him in ignominy for over one hundred and fifty years."Signed and inscribed by the author on title page Size: 8vo. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: John Rae's accomplishments, surpassing all nineteenth-century Arctic explorers, were worthy of honors and international fame. No explorer even approached Rae's prolific record: 1,776 miles surveyed of uncharted territory; 6,555 miles hiked on snowshoes; and 6,700 miles navigated in small boats. Yet, he was denied fair recognition of his discoveries because he dared to utter the truth about the fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew, Rae's predecessors in the far north. Author Ken McGoogan vividly narrates the astonishing adventures of Rae, who found the last link to the Northwest Passage and uncovered the grisly truth about the cannibalism of Franklin and his crew. A bitter smear campaign by Franklin's supporters would deny Rae his knighthood and bury him in ignominy for over one hundred and fifty years. Ken McGoogan's passion to secure justice for a true North American hero in this revelatory book produces a completely original and compelling portrait that elevates Rae to his rightful place as one of history's greatest explorers.

Review: In the spring of 1854, John Rae, a Scottish immigrant to Canada, led a small party of explorers across the Boothia Peninsula to map the missing link in the fabled Northwest Passage. That signal accomplishment, along with Rae's other contributions to Canadian and world geography, should have earned him glory. Instead, Ken McGoogan tells us, Rae faded from the record.

Rae's trouble, McGoogan writes, came from unpleasant reports that he filed about the fate of an earlier expedition, led by Sir John Franklin, whose remains he discovered along the way. Lost "in a hummocky wasteland of yawning crevasses and ten-foot pressure ridges assailed by blizzards and blowing snow," the unfortunate party--or so Inuit hunters reported to Rae--resorted to eating the dead. The news scandalized Victorian society, drawing vigorous objections from none other than Charles Dickens, who argued that proper British heroes were incapable of such acts and had to have been done in by the Inuit themselves. Rae, the messenger, was effectively killed by the tidings he brought, and written out of the history books. In this insightful and adventure-packed book, McGoogan restores Rae's name to the long roster of heroes of Arctic exploration. --Gregory McNamee

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Title: Fatal Passage: The True Story of John Rae, ...
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition.

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