Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition

Ice Ghosts The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition Ice Ghosts weaves together the epic story of the lost Franklin Expedition of whose two ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror and their crew of were lost to the Arctic ice with the modern tale of

  • Title: Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
  • Author: Paul Watson
  • ISBN: 9780393355864
  • Page: 413
  • Format: Paperback
  • Ice Ghosts weaves together the epic story of the lost Franklin Expedition of 1845 whose two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and their crew of 129 were lost to the Arctic ice with the modern tale of the scientists, divers, and local Inuit behind the recent incredible discoveries of the wrecks Paul Watson, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who was on the icebreaker thatIce Ghosts weaves together the epic story of the lost Franklin Expedition of 1845 whose two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and their crew of 129 were lost to the Arctic ice with the modern tale of the scientists, divers, and local Inuit behind the recent incredible discoveries of the wrecks Paul Watson, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who was on the icebreaker that led one of the discovery expeditions, tells a fast paced historical adventure story and reveals how a combination of faith in Inuit knowledge and the latest science yielded a discovery for the ages.

    One thought on “Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition”

    1. I am fascinated by anything to do with the Arctic, a place I will never go, truth to tell probably not even want to go, but I love reading about this extremely cold, ice packed place. Add in the Franklin Expedition and the very long effort it took to find the wrecks of Erebus and Terror, and I'm all in.Starts in 1845 with the expedition itself, for John Franklin, now in his seventies this is his last ditch effort to find and complete the northwest passage and to redeem his shattered reputation. [...]

    2. So, you’ve had a bad day? Maybe. But consider yourself lucky that your boss wasn’t Sir John Franklin, and that your day job wasn’t as a sailor on Franklin’s mid-19th century, multi-year Arctic expedition. Because no matter what, your day at work probably didn't involve getting stuck fast in the ice, disappearing from outside human contact, and dying agonizingly in the frozen wastes, numbed by cold, ravaged by hunger, perhaps brought low by botulism, forced, by inches, to contemplate the [...]

    3. In 1847 Sir John Franklin left England and his adoring wife Lady Jane to seek the fabled Northwest Passage. He was 59 years old and it was his fourth journey to the Arctic. He had survived starvation on his second journey. This expedition was prepared with three years of food, included new-fangled canned foods. He had powerful, heated ships. The explorer Ross promised to rescue Franklin if he did not come home.Nothing went as planned. Extreme ice stranded the ships. Their canned food was tainted [...]

    4. The oceans always have some great unsolved mystery disappearances. In the mid- 1840s the Royal Navy bomb ketches, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror disappeared in the Arctic of Canada. Paul Watson tells the story of their loss and discovery in his book “Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition”. The two ships and every member of their crews-129 officers, seamen, and marines under the command of the Admiralty’s third choice for the job, Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin-were lost som [...]

    5. No chain of islands on Earth is more vicious than the Arctic Archipelago. Like teeth lining colossal jaws, some ninety-four large islands, and 36, 469 smaller ones, stretch across a territory about half the size of the contiguous United States. They can bite down and swallow ships whole. Even the earliest, most hopeful, searchers, who mapped large parts of the archipelago as they looked for Erebus and Terror and their crews, knew it would take a miracle to find anyone in that gigantic maw.In his [...]

    6. A compelling read that nevertheless has a few issues. This type of book, a popular narrative history, is always fraught with a number of pitfalls. Watson plays fast and loose with the facts in the historical first half of the book. As many historians do, he gets to pick and choose which facts to emphasize in order to make his read more exciting and make the failures more tragic. A particular example is of the many crackpot psychic explorations of the expedition's fate, Watson focuses on the Weez [...]

    7. I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review of this title. So, the failed Franklin Expedition of 1845 has been a subject that I have been obsessed with ever since reading The Terror by Dan Simmons. For those not familiar with the lost expedition, Sir John Franlin set out from England in the mid 19th century to find the elusive Northwest Passage. The purpose of the expedition was to shorten the amount of time it would take to conduct trade between Europ [...]

    8. Dan Simmon's novel, The Terror, was my introduction to the failed Franklin Expedition in 1845--a voyage of discovery to find that elusive Northwest Passage that would like Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Since then, I've read several books that relate to Arctic (and Antarctic) exploration, both fiction and nonfiction, and now that I think back, I wonder if Andrea Barrett's fabulous Voyage of the Narwhal touched on Franklin as well. The snow and ice almost always win, but really when you've named yo [...]

    9. I only picked this up because of the author being a Pulitzer prize winner. Turned out to be a fascinating read. A lesson about how you treat the natives of the land in this book too. Highly recommended even though I'm not usually one for nautical wrecks.

    10. This is a well written book about the lost Franklin Expedition. The book is broken down into three parts, which gives an overview of the expedition, the hunt over a hundred and sixty some years and then the discovery. The follies and arrogance of humans can be seen in this history. It was pleasing to see a peek of Inuit culture in this book. Overall, an enjoyable and interesting read.

    11. I found this history of the Franklin Expedition, and the search for its lost ships and crew, absolutely fascinating!The book does a very good job outlining the mission of Franklin and his crew in exploring the Canadian Arctic in search of the Northwest Passage. It also details the experiences of those left at home, most notably Lady Jane Franklin, who kept the hope of finding her husband and his crew, alive or dead, for many decades to come.Watson is a great writer, and investigator. I really ap [...]

    12. Much has been written about the lost Franklin expedition, but I have never read a book that so seamlessly weaves what is known about this history with the history of those who traveled to explore the mysteries of the men who disappeared. A well-researched and intriguing read!

    13. Paul Watson's "Ice Ghosts" brings the long, often confusing, muddled, politically bungled attempt of the search for the answers to what happened to the Franklin expedition into a sharper focus. Since both the "Erebus" and "Terror" have been found, Watson is able to cast a critical eye on both why the search took so long and, ultimately, what lead to the final discovery of both ships.First, the Inuit of the North finally get the credit they rightfully deserve. Both in the early days of the search [...]

    14. Andrew Lambert's "The Gates of Hell" has set the standard for me for several years, but Watson's book benefits from a bit of good research and a dogged expedition's findings last year. The research involves Inuit sources that highlight the survivors' last days. The research involves the expedition's discovery of both the "Terror" and the "Erebus," and the further discovery that the Franklin expedition survivors actually found a Northwest Passage before they died.

    15. The first half of the book is a solid account of the doomed Franklin Expedition, and the 19th Century efforts to locate survivors, although the three maps included before the text simply aren't detailed enough. The second half of the book is a meandering, discombobulated, more-than-occasionally confusing account of the late-20th and early 21st Century searches for Franklin's two ships. I wish the last 170 pages of the book had been more like 70 pages, and focused on just a few of the key figures [...]

    16. Pretty good. The story of an Arctic search which lasted over 160 years. And parts of the mystery are still unsolved.

    17. I love reading about polar exploration and every time a new book comes out on this subject, I immediately reserve it at the library. Ice Ghosts was one that I couldn't wait to get my hands on. Unfortunately, it wasn't that terrific and I almost quit reading the book but decided to persevere. It started out keeping my interest and then began to deteriorate. There's too much peripheral excess that can be rambling and plodding. I don't like metaphors and the author uses plenty of these which are de [...]

    18. A well-researched adventure narrative focusing on one of the big mysteries of Arctic exploration. Watson adds considerable value to a frequently debated story by providing ample information on Inuit involvement in British exploration of the Arctic by detailing oral histories, cultural practices, etc. The narrative thread does get bogged down in a few places, both when the author is filling in backstory for dramatis personae that muddles the timeline and in some of the detailed description of ear [...]

    19. This was an excellent book in terms of the factual information and history covered, but I think it suffered a bit from the sheer span of time involved. There's almost 200 years worth of British Naval and Arctic history to get through from the time the Franklin Expedition departed England to the time that the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were discovered in the frigid waters of Nunavut. Not only do we cover the Franklin expedition up to about the time they're entombed in ice, but we also cover severa [...]

    20. Ice Ghosts is the 160 plus years history of the lost Franklin Expedition, from preparation and loading of stores and sailing north (1845) from the Thames round Scotland to 'find' the northwest passage to the Pacific from Europe, until the discovery of the sunken ships HMS Erebus (2014) and HMS Terror (2016) from the Arctic floor. Many Dozens of missions searched for these lost ships, though most were much too late to save the 129 sailors aboard, and Arctic natives were basically not consulted un [...]

    21. I'll preface this by saying I'm terribly biased as I've previously interviewed the author Paul Watson for a journalism course and pored over his memoir Where War Lives twice in my university library as part of the pre-interview research.Once the interview itself was done, Paul and my course instructor chatted about his work while I mostly listened. He had been reporting from the Arctic for the Toronto Star and was the only reporter on board the ship that eventually found the HMS Erebus.A few mon [...]

    22. I kept telling myself I should be impressed by this book or maybe enjoying it because this guy won a Pulitzer. But the book was so poorly structured, I was adrift with the flotsam from other times, places, people, and had to paddle desperately to keep track of the narrative line, not to mention to make sense of his needlessly convoluted sentences. I'd give this one star for its sheer annoyance value, but I did manage to learn things, so here's a grudging two.

    23. Review title: The Frozen DeepIn 1845 John Franklin, celebrated admiral and veteran of wars and voyages of discovery, left England on his last planned trip before retirement in an effort to find the long sought Northwest Passage above the top of the North American continent and win great glory for the British Empire. Franklin, his two ships, and his crew disappeared into the Arctic in a mystery never yet solved. Watson describes the sometimes heroic, sometimes pathetic, missions to rescue the men [...]

    24. The lost Franklin Expedition of 1845 very likely succeeded in completing “the missing link in the Northwest Passage” but, famously, none of the crew of 129 survived to claim the prize. In ICE GHOSTS, Paul Warren demonstrates a Pulitzer-winning journalist’s instinct for highlighting significant details in a complicated story. He vividly lays out 170-plus years of Anglocentric arrogance, mismanagement, folly and bad luck – as well as sketching a rich assortment of idiots and charlatans obs [...]

    25. This book begins like many of the other books I have read about the Franklin party. It starts off with overviews of Sir Franklin, his wife Lady Jane Franklin, specific officers on HMS Erebus and Terror, British Admiralty bigwigs, and past Arctic expeditions. I was worried that I wouldn't learn anything new in this book. Was I ever wrong! I was very impressed with the number of chapters devoted to Inuit history, culture and oral tradition. Back in the 1800s, Inuit stories concerning the Franklin [...]

    26. A great story of the converging of historical research, personal interviews, coincidence, cross-cultural respect, and maybe a little supernatural help. Early exploration of Arctic waters and islands ended in tragedy; sometimes there were lucky survivors, sometimes not. Well-equipped but hampered by bureaucratic tangles and disdain for experienced but low-class whalers and Native Inuit, the Royal Navy 2-ship Franklin expedition of 1845 had no survivors. But solving the mystery of what happened an [...]

    27. Enjoyed this work as a primer on the backstory behind one of the most fascinating explorers and polar expeditions of all time. I was hoping for more of an all-encompassing history of the mystery; for example, the book skipped over the legendary discovery of the expedition's last written records at Victory Point in 1859--an event that surely fits into the centuries long hunt for the lost expedition. In any event, the examination of the main figures who drove and financed the search parties over t [...]

    28. I was pretty disappointed by this book. I've read several books on Shackleton's Antarctic adventure and loved them all so I had high hopes for this one. The liner notes call it narrative non-fiction but I found it really lacking in drama and creating a connection to the characters. I can see Watson was clearly trying to do this with Lady Franklin but it fell short for me. He tried the same with Kamookak and had better success there. The first half especially felt like just a chronological relati [...]

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