The Man Who Mapped the Arctic: The Intrepid Life of George Back, Franklin's Lieutenant

Steele, Peter

Published by Raincoast Books, 2003
ISBN 10: 1551926482 / ISBN 13: 9781551926483
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Synopsis: In the mid-1800s, George Back went on three Arctic expeditions with Sir John Franklin across the barren lands of the Canadian north. But unlike Franklin, Back lived to tell his tales in journals, drawings, watercolors, and maps. Noted writer Peter Steele drew on these sources, along with contemporary accounts, to craft this gripping tale of resilience in the face of incredible odds.

The book thrillingly recounts the near-impossible circumstances of these expeditions — the fights with the Hudson Bay Company, rations that failed to get through, even cannibalism. Back survived these horrors to lead an exploration of the Great Fish River, now named Back River in his honor. His return upstream, hauling his handmade boat up 83 sets of rapids, is one of the greatest-ever feats of heroism and endurance.

A gifted artist and mapmaker, Back was a brave explorer forgotten by history. Steele does him belated justice with this fascinating account.

From Booklist: Steele's literate, coherent biography introduces one of the undeservedly obscure figures in arctic exploration. George Back joined the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars; promptly captured, he spent five years as a POW. He became a lieutenant and went back to sea after the war, but the heart of his career lay in the search for the Northwest Passage. He was second-in-command to John Franklin, who had more enthusiasm than ability, on two overland expeditions from Canada, one of which ended in disaster. He commanded a third overland journey and also a peril-ridden voyage by sea. Throughout, he proved courageous, durable, and civilized in his dealings with voyageurs, soldiers, Indians, and Eskimos. He survived the inadequacy of nineteenth-century equipment and knowledge of the Arctic to retire to England, where he became a mentor to a later generation of arctic explorers and thereafter virtually disappeared from the pages of history--until now. Roland Green
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Title: The Man Who Mapped the Arctic: The Intrepid ...
Publisher: Raincoast Books
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description Raincoast Book Distribution. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G1551926482I3N10

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Book Description Raincoast Books, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. [xviii], 307pp w bibliography and index. Two indexed, unpaginated sections of bw plates, one indexed section of maps. Cartographic endpapers. Deep green boards w gold lettering on spine. No wear to covers or spine. Binding square and sound. Laminate protected DJ is clean and without wear. External library labels, internal library stamps, no pocket. Condition suggests the book saw limited circulation. Bookseller Inventory # 038910

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Book Description Vancouver, B.C. Raincoast Books 2003, 2003. Book Condition: fine. 1st Paperback Edition. xxxiv;307pp. Octavo. Original pictorial wrappers. B/W illustrated plates. Nice reading copy. fine Now the definitive biography of George Back. Bookseller Inventory # 137205

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Steele, Peter.
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Book Description Raincoast, Vancouver, 2003. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good+. George Back (illustrator). First Edition. 307 pp, large 8vo (9 1/4" H). Map endpapers, b&w maps, reproductions of drawings (by Back). "George Back went on three Arctic expeditions under Sir John Franklin, searching for the mythical Northwest Passage while opening up the vast barren lands of the Canadian north. But unlike Franklin, Back lived to tell his tales and left behind an inspirational legacy of journals, drawings, watercolours and maps. Back was one of nature's survivors. Just after he joined the British navy at the tender age of 11, he was taken prisoner by the French and spent five years in a Napoleonic citadel. Here he learnt to speak French, a skill that later helped smooth his passage with the hardy Canadian voyaguers. Exploration of the frozen north was then beset by appalling difficulties. There were rows with the Hudson's Bay Company, rations that failed to get through and, in extremis, cannibalism. But Back came through such trials with a joyous satisfaction. His crowning achievement was the discovery and descent of Canada's Great Fish River, now named the Back River. Not only did he shoot its 83 sets of rapids in a boat built on the spot, but on reaching the Arctic Ocean, he dragged the vessel back upstream as winter closed in. His final expedition almost led him to a watery grave off Southampton Island at the top of Hudson Bay, where his ship drifted for ten months in pack ice; the leaking wreck just made it to Ireland, where Back ran it onto a beach and collapsed. Five Arctic adventures had destroyed his health. Now an admiral, he retired, was knighted and died at the ripe old age of 82." Minor wrinkling at top/bottom of spine. Dust jacket has some light edge wrinkling - mainly at top of spine and front flap fold. Bookseller Inventory # 27906

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Book Description Raincoast Books, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. Green boards with unclipped jacket; A fine unread copy with only the slighest touch of rubbing on covers; Illustrated end boards and b & w illustrations in book; 307 pages with index; A member of Franklin`s expeditions who survived and lived to tell the tale. Bookseller Inventory # PARA1292

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Book Description Raincoast, Vancouver, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First. xxviii, 307pp., index, biblio., ill., maps. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Book. Bookseller Inventory # 010293

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Book Description Raincoast Books, 2003. Book Condition: Good. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP15636340

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Book Description Raincoast Books, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2003. First edition, hardcover, 335 pages. Includes maps and illustrations. A Fine, brand new copy in a Fine dustjacket. Bookseller Inventory # 7034

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Book Description Raincoast Books, Vancouver, British Columbia. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. First Edition. First edition. Signed by the author at the title page. Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 24527

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