I have always had a fascination with the age of sail and the brave sailors who were exploring the ‘unknown’ parts of the world in their wooden boats. I was first exposed to Franklin’s lost expedition when reading “The Terror” by Dan Simmons. Simmons turns it into a sort of historical gothic horror, adventure story. Since we know so little about the details of the expedition, it has excited the imaginations of the public since it was lost in 1845. A few weeks ago, I read another book about a voyage of exploration that ran into serious difficulties, Madhouse at the End of the Earth. Soon after, I came across the excellent TV series, “The Terror”. It is based on the novel of the same name that I read years ago.
This got me thinking about the real Franklin expedition and how I should read up on it more.
This book is an indepth exhumation of the 3 graves at Beechey Island (1984-1986). This is where the now famous (dead) sailor, Torrington, is buried. The researched also traced the route of a few places where parts of bodies had been found. The book is filled with detailed photographs of the bodies.
The book begins with a great summary of the expedition before going into the recent day studies of the bodies. I was expecting it would be wholly about the whole expedition, but I was wrong. I will probably read “Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time” soon to see how that book approaches this fascinating topic.
Book #22 in my 2022 Reading Challenge