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This title in other editions

The Man Who Ate His Boots: The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage

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The Man Who Ate His Boots: The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage Cover

 

Staff Pick

Our modern conveniences were built on the backs of the brave (and sometimes foolish) souls who endured unimaginable hardship to tame a savage, unpredictable world. The Man Who Ate His Boots relates the fascinating stories of the explorers who spent 35 years seeking a shortcut to the Orient via a sea route over northern Canada.
Recommended by Rico, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The enthralling and often harrowing history of the adventurers who searched for the Northwest Passage, the holy grail of nineteenth-century British exploration.

After the triumphant end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the British took it upon themselves to complete something they had been trying to do since the sixteenth century: find the fabled Northwest Passage, a shortcut to the Orient via a sea route over northern Canada. For the next 35 years, the British Admiralty sent out expedition after expedition to probe the ice-bound waters of the Canadian Arctic in search of a route, and then, after 1845, to find Sir John Franklin, the Royal Navy hero who led the last of these Admiralty expeditions and vanished into the maze of channels, sounds, and icy seas with two ships and 128 officers and men.

In The Man Who Ate His Boots, Anthony Brandt tells the whole story of the search for the Northwest Passage, from its beginnings early in the age of exploration through its development into a British national obsession to the final sordid, terrible descent into scurvy, starvation, and cannibalism. Sir John Franklin is the focus of the book but it covers all the major expeditions and a number of fascinating characters, including Franklin's extraordinary wife, Lady Jane, in vivid detail. The Man Who Ate His Boots is a rich and engaging work of narrative history that captures the glory and the folly of this ultimately tragic enterprise.

Review:

"In this engrossing chronicle of arctic exploration, Brandt (Reality Police: The Experience of Insanity in America) follows the many expeditions launched by the British navy in the 19th century to find a sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the maze of islands north of the Canadian mainland. He treats the story as an exercise in majestic futility: ship after ship became trapped in the region's labyrinthine, perpetually ice-clogged waters, dispatched by naval officials who believed that the Arctic Ocean was ice-free beyond its frozen rim. Sailors braved immense ice floes that squeezed and crushed their ships; summer overland treks featured mosquito swarms that blotted out the sun; everyone faced the likelihood of frostbite, scurvy, and starvation. Brandt pens a colorful narrative full of gothic horrors, quiet daring, and petty personality clashes, and probes the social meaning of these odysseys: to the explorers and the public that idolized them, the tacit point, he suggests, was to court danger as a proof of British grit and resolve. The result is a gripping — and sometimes appalling — tale of heroism and hubris." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[A] superior tale of nobility, hubris, and sadly, futility." Booklist

Review:

"Often witty in his approach, Brandt makes the absurdity of Arctic exploration and the quest for the Northwest Passage entertaining for the general reader. Highly recommended for fans of British or Arctic exploration history." Library Journal (starred review)

Synopsis:

The enthralling, often harrowing story of the adventurers who searched in vain for the Northwest Passage, the holy grail of nineteenth-century British exploration. The Man Who Ate His Boots is a rich and engaging work of narrative history — a multifaceted portrait of noble adventure and of imperialistic folly.

Synopsis:

Brandt tells the fascinating whole story of the search for the Northwest Passage, from its beginnings early in the age of exploration through its development into a British national obsession to the final sordid, terrible descent into scurvy, starvation, and cannibalism.

Synopsis:

After the triumphant end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the British took it upon themselves to complete something they had been trying to do since the sixteenth century: find the fabled Northwest Passage. For the next thirty-five years the British Admiralty sent out expedition after expedition to probe the ice-bound waters of the Canadian Arctic in search of a route, and then, after 1845, to find Sir John Franklin, the Royal Navy hero who led the last of these Admiralty expeditions. Enthralling and often harrowing, The Man Who Ate His Boots captures the glory and the folly of this ultimately tragic enterprise.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Video

About the Author

Anthony Brandt is an expert in the history of travel and adventure and is the book review editor for Adventure magazine. He has edited more than 20 books for National Geographic and is a contributor to GQ, Esquire, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and other publications. His edited Journals of Lewis and Clark has sold nearly 100,000 copies in special markets and the trade.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307263926
Subtitle:
The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage
Author:
Brandt, Anthony
Author:
Brandt, Anthony
Author:
Anthony Brandt
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Expeditions & Discoveries
Subject:
Americas (North Central South West Indies)
Subject:
Polar Regions
Subject:
Canada - Pre-Confederation (to 1867)
Subject:
Fiction : Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
History-Expeditions & Discoveries
Subject:
HISTORY / Americas (North, Central, South, West Indies)
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20100302
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 MAPS AND 5 PORTRAITS
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9.74x6.58x1.50 in. 1.78 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Exploration » Arctic
» History and Social Science » Exploration » General
» Transportation » Nautical » Nautical Lore
» Travel » Travel Writing » Arctic General
» Travel » Travel Writing » Arctic and Antarctic

The Man Who Ate His Boots: The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307263926 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Our modern conveniences were built on the backs of the brave (and sometimes foolish) souls who endured unimaginable hardship to tame a savage, unpredictable world. The Man Who Ate His Boots relates the fascinating stories of the explorers who spent 35 years seeking a shortcut to the Orient via a sea route over northern Canada.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this engrossing chronicle of arctic exploration, Brandt (Reality Police: The Experience of Insanity in America) follows the many expeditions launched by the British navy in the 19th century to find a sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the maze of islands north of the Canadian mainland. He treats the story as an exercise in majestic futility: ship after ship became trapped in the region's labyrinthine, perpetually ice-clogged waters, dispatched by naval officials who believed that the Arctic Ocean was ice-free beyond its frozen rim. Sailors braved immense ice floes that squeezed and crushed their ships; summer overland treks featured mosquito swarms that blotted out the sun; everyone faced the likelihood of frostbite, scurvy, and starvation. Brandt pens a colorful narrative full of gothic horrors, quiet daring, and petty personality clashes, and probes the social meaning of these odysseys: to the explorers and the public that idolized them, the tacit point, he suggests, was to court danger as a proof of British grit and resolve. The result is a gripping — and sometimes appalling — tale of heroism and hubris." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] superior tale of nobility, hubris, and sadly, futility."
"Review" by , "Often witty in his approach, Brandt makes the absurdity of Arctic exploration and the quest for the Northwest Passage entertaining for the general reader. Highly recommended for fans of British or Arctic exploration history."
"Synopsis" by , The enthralling, often harrowing story of the adventurers who searched in vain for the Northwest Passage, the holy grail of nineteenth-century British exploration. The Man Who Ate His Boots is a rich and engaging work of narrative history — a multifaceted portrait of noble adventure and of imperialistic folly.
"Synopsis" by , Brandt tells the fascinating whole story of the search for the Northwest Passage, from its beginnings early in the age of exploration through its development into a British national obsession to the final sordid, terrible descent into scurvy, starvation, and cannibalism.
"Synopsis" by , After the triumphant end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the British took it upon themselves to complete something they had been trying to do since the sixteenth century: find the fabled Northwest Passage. For the next thirty-five years the British Admiralty sent out expedition after expedition to probe the ice-bound waters of the Canadian Arctic in search of a route, and then, after 1845, to find Sir John Franklin, the Royal Navy hero who led the last of these Admiralty expeditions. Enthralling and often harrowing, The Man Who Ate His Boots captures the glory and the folly of this ultimately tragic enterprise.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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