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James Fitzjames: The Mystery Man of the Franklin Expedition

Battersby, William.

13 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 155488781X / ISBN 13: 9781554887811
Published by Dundurn. 1 Cloth(s), 2010
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About this Item

Having already distinguished himself in combat, charismatic naval commander James Fitzjames joined Great Britain's 1845 Franklin Expedition, thinking he would make his name; instead the expedition disappeared without a trace. In this biography—which features 16 pages of black and white illustrations—William Battersby draws extensively on Fitzjames's personal letters and journals as well as official naval records, creating a portrait of an ambitious man haunted by the secret of his illegitimate birth."A riveting detective story that reveals a whole host of compelling details about the nature of 19th-century maritime endeavor, and the fated, enigmatic Captain Fitzjames. A worthy addition to the distinguished literature on the greatest Arctic naval disaster in history."—Benedict Allen 224. Bookseller Inventory # 34980

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Bibliographic Details

Title: James Fitzjames: The Mystery Man of the ...

Publisher: Dundurn. 1 Cloth(s)

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: hard

Book Condition: New

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title


James Fitzjames was a hero of the early nineteenth-century Royal Navy. A charismatic man with a wicked sense of humour, he pursued his naval career with wily determination. When he joined the Franklin Expedition at the age of 32 he thought he would make his name. But instead the expedition completely disappeared and he never returned. Its fate is one of history’s last great unsolved mysteries, as were the origins and background of James Fitzjames – until now.

Fitzjames packed a great deal into his thirty-two years. He had sailed an iron paddle steamer down the River Euphrates and fought with spectacular bravery in wars in Syria and China. But Fitzjames was not what he seemed. He concealed several secrets, including the scandal of his birth, the source of his influence and his plans for after the Franklin Expedition.

In this first complete biography of the captain of the HMS Erebus, William Battersby draws extensively on Fitzjames’ personal letters and journals – most never published before – as well as official naval records, to strip away 200 years of misinformation and half-truths and enables us to understand for the first time this intriguing man and his significance for the Franklin Expedition.

From the Inside Flap:

A lively man with a wicked sense of humour, James Fitzjames joined the Franklin Expedition at the age of 32. While he never returned, he left behind a legacy of misinformation, half-truths, and adventures that the author wades through to create a great portrait of this brave Royal Navy hero.

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