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The Last Gentleman Adventurer: Coming of Age in the Arctic

by

The Last Gentleman Adventurer: Coming of Age in the Arctic Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"This is a great book about life at remote bases in Canada's far north as seen by a young English boy who went there by himself to see the world and got more than he could have bargained for. Beautifully written." --Sir Ranulph Fiennes

"As spare, gleaming, and exhilarating as the Arctic wastes and the gentle, stoic Eskimos who had mastery of this realm . . . The book evokes the frozen seas, whale hunts, snow plains and storms that intimidated those rash enough to brave this world, and the traditions, myths, and hunting skills that contoured a bygone way of life . . . His translucent prose is a sparkling and moving record." — Times (London)

At sixteen, Edward Beauclerk Maurice impulsively signed up with the Hudson's Bay Company — the Company of Gentleman Adventurers — and was sent to an isolated trading post in the Canadian Arctic, where there was no telephone or radio and only one ship arrived each year. But the Inuit people who traded there taught him how to track polar bears, build igloos, and survive expeditions in ferocious winter storms. He learned their language and became so immersed in their culture and way of life that children thought he was Inuit himself. When an epidemic struck, Maurice treated the sick using a simple first aid kit, and after a number of the hunters died, he had to start hunting himself, often with women, who soon began to compete for his affections. The young man who in England had never been alone with a woman other than his mother and sisters had come of age in the Arctic.

In The Last Gentleman Adventurer Edward Beauclerk Maurice transports the reader to a time and a way of life now lost forever.

After serving in the New Zealand navy during World War II, Edward Beauclerk Maurice became a bookseller in an English village and rarely traveled again. He died in 2003 as this, his only book, was being readied for publication.

"If you like reality, The Last Gentleman Adventurer will be your cup of tea: a delicious quaff of it. Savor it!" — Edward Hoagland

"Maurice's memoir supplies a fascinating elegy to a vanishing world." — Telegraph

"One of those rare writers who will be remembered for turning out one great memoir/travel book . . . He relates these events in a beautiful prose that is quaintly elegant in tone but never archly so . . . Not only a gentleman but a wonderful writer who limited his output to one book, and perhaps that is why it reads so beautifully." — Sunday Tribune (Dublin)

"Maybe he was exceptional, but the charm of his book lies in its modesty; he makes no claims for himself. His concern was to make a record of some amazing adventures and a vanishing way of life; these are woven into an eye-opening narrative that is suffused with kindliness and an attitude to growing up more restrained but more humane than that prevailing today. A gentleman adventurer indeed." — Times Educational Supplement

"A deceptively simple account of how he grew to manhood, shaped on one hand by the brutal elements of the Arctic, on the other by the compassionate communities of Inuit who understood them . . . This is a beautifully unadorned, homespun tale with a lack of self-consciousness rare in travel literature . . . I was charmed." — Benedict Allen, Independent on Sunday

Review:

"Maurice was a 16-year-old boy from a struggling British family when a missionary from the Canadian Arctic paid a visit to his boarding school in 1930. Impressed by an accompanying film about life in the frozen territories, Maurice immediately sought employment as an apprentice with the Hudson's Bay Company and was sent to a remote trading post, where news from the outside world was often limited to a short weekly radio broadcast. He was so young, the local Inuit tribe nicknamed him 'The Boy,' but, as revealed over the course of this charming memoir, he was gradually able to win their trust and admiration. Eventually placed in charge of his own post, Maurice — having already learned the Inuit language — became increasingly involved in the daily lives of the local tribe members. His accounts of their dramatic romantic entanglements are understatedly amusing, as is the dry observation that he himself has been selected by one of the women as a suitable mate. Maurice, who died in 2003, recounts his youthful adventures in a graceful style reminiscent of the great 20th-century explorers. Though his tale is somewhat more subdued than their exploits, it proves just as engrossing. Agent, Isobel Dixon, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency (London)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'Afterlands' is a historical novel that changes gears midway through and is the better for it. In the first half, Steven Heighton tells the fictionalized story of an actual episode, the USS Polaris disaster of 1871. It starts when 19 participants in a voyage of arctic exploration abandon ship voluntarily — and, they assume, temporarily — while it is leaking and being squeezed by ice floes. In darkness... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Book News Annotation:

Maurice recounts how, at age 16, he signed up with the Hudson's Bay Company and ended up at an isolated trading post in the Canadian Arctic from 1930 to 1939, where most of his interaction was with native Inuit. After World War II, he settled back in an English village as a bookseller, and died in 2003 as this, his only book, was being readied for publication.
Annotation 2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

Maurice recounts how, at age 16, he signed up with the Hudson's Bay Company and ended up at an isolated trading post in the Canadian Arctic from 1930 to 1939, where most of his interaction was with native Inuit. After World War II, he settled back in an English village as a bookseller, and died in 2003 as this, his only book, was being readied for publication. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

At sixteen, Edward Beauclerk Maurice impulsively signed up with the Hudson's Bay Company — the company of Gentleman Adventurers — and ended up at an isolated trading post in the Canadian Arctic, where there was no communication with the outside world and only one ship arrived each year. But he was not alone. The Inuit people who traded there taught him how to track polar bears, build igloos, and survive ferocious winter storms. He learned their language and became completely immersed in their culture, earning the name Issumatak, meaning “he who thinks.”

In The Last Gentleman Adventurer, Edward Beauclerk Maurice relates his story of coming of age in the Arctic and transports the reader to a time and a way of life now lost forever.

Synopsis:

At 16, Maurice impulsively signed up with the Hudson's Bay Company and was sent to an isolated trading post in the Canadian Arctic, where he immersed himself in the Inuit people's culture and way of life. Through deadly epidemics and the struggle to survive, the young man from England came of age.

About the Author

EDWARD BEAUCLERK MAURICE, after serving in the New Zealand navy during World War II, became a bookseller in an English village and rarely traveled again. He died in 2003, as this book was being readied for publication.

Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword by Lawrence Millman ix

Part One THE BOY 1

Part Two ISSUMATAK 159

Product Details

ISBN:
9780618517510
Subtitle:
Coming of Age in the Arctic
Foreword:
Millman, Lawrence
Foreword:
Millman, Lawrence
Author:
Maurice, Edward Beauclerk
Author:
Millman, Lawrence
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Adventurers & Explorers
Subject:
Frontier and pioneer life
Subject:
Explorers
Subject:
Polar Regions
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
BIO023000
Subject:
Hudson's bay company
Subject:
Canada, Northern Description and travel.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
November 2005
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Line art, endpapers
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in 1.23 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Arctic and Antarctic » General
History and Social Science » Exploration » Arctic
Travel » Travel Writing » Arctic General
Travel » Travel Writing » Arctic and Antarctic
Travel » Travel Writing » Exploration

The Last Gentleman Adventurer: Coming of Age in the Arctic Used Hardcover
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$12.50 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618517510 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Maurice was a 16-year-old boy from a struggling British family when a missionary from the Canadian Arctic paid a visit to his boarding school in 1930. Impressed by an accompanying film about life in the frozen territories, Maurice immediately sought employment as an apprentice with the Hudson's Bay Company and was sent to a remote trading post, where news from the outside world was often limited to a short weekly radio broadcast. He was so young, the local Inuit tribe nicknamed him 'The Boy,' but, as revealed over the course of this charming memoir, he was gradually able to win their trust and admiration. Eventually placed in charge of his own post, Maurice — having already learned the Inuit language — became increasingly involved in the daily lives of the local tribe members. His accounts of their dramatic romantic entanglements are understatedly amusing, as is the dry observation that he himself has been selected by one of the women as a suitable mate. Maurice, who died in 2003, recounts his youthful adventures in a graceful style reminiscent of the great 20th-century explorers. Though his tale is somewhat more subdued than their exploits, it proves just as engrossing. Agent, Isobel Dixon, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency (London)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
At sixteen, Edward Beauclerk Maurice impulsively signed up with the Hudson's Bay Company — the company of Gentleman Adventurers — and ended up at an isolated trading post in the Canadian Arctic, where there was no communication with the outside world and only one ship arrived each year. But he was not alone. The Inuit people who traded there taught him how to track polar bears, build igloos, and survive ferocious winter storms. He learned their language and became completely immersed in their culture, earning the name Issumatak, meaning “he who thinks.”

In The Last Gentleman Adventurer, Edward Beauclerk Maurice relates his story of coming of age in the Arctic and transports the reader to a time and a way of life now lost forever.

"Synopsis" by , At 16, Maurice impulsively signed up with the Hudson's Bay Company and was sent to an isolated trading post in the Canadian Arctic, where he immersed himself in the Inuit people's culture and way of life. Through deadly epidemics and the struggle to survive, the young man from England came of age.
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