Synopses & Reviews
The Last Viking
unravels the life of the man who stands head and shoulders above all those who raced to map the last corners of the world. In 1900, the four great geographical mysteries—the Northwest Passage, the Northeast Passage, the South Pole, and the North Pole—remained blank spots on the globe. Within twenty years Roald Amundsen would claim all four prizes. Renowned for his determination and technical skills, both feared and beloved by his men, Amundsen is a legend of the heroic age of exploration, which shortly thereafter would be tamed by technology, commerce, and publicity. Féted in his lifetime as an international celebrity, pursued by women and creditors, he died in the Arctic on a rescue mission for an inept rival explorer.
Stephen R. Bown has unearthed archival material to give Amundsens life the grim immediacy of Apsley Cherry-Garrards The Worst Journey in the World, the exciting detail of The Endurance, and the suspense of a Jon Krakauer tale. The Last Viking is both a thrilling literary biography and a cracking good story.
The first full-scale biography of the greatest of all polar explorers and a conqueror of the Northwest Passage as well
About the Author
Stephen R. Bown is the author ofScurvy: How a Surgeon, a Mariner and A Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail
, selected as one of the Globe and Mails Top 100 books of 2004, and A Most Damnable Invention: Dynamite, Nitrates and the Making of the Modern World
, selected for the Scientific American Book Club, the History Book Club and the Quality Paperback Book Club. He lives with his wife and two young children near Banff in the Canadian Rockies.