Thursday, July 26, 2007

Book Recommendation of the Day

'Frozen In Time', by John Geiger and Owen Beattie, is an impressive (if intense) book about the Franklin Expedition, and its final fate. Franklin set off to discover the Northwest Passage, a northern sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific, during one of the last great eras of exploration. He had two ships, 129 men, the latest equipment and provisions to ensure his survival, and the hopes of England behind him. He and his men were never heard from again.

The book contains contemporary accounts of the Franklin expedition--its planning, the historical context of the search for the Northwest Passage, and the reaction from Franklin's countrymen as it became apparent that something had gone wrong. It then shifts to almost 150 years later, as forensic scientists (Beattie included) attempt to find out exactly what happened to the men of the Franklin expedition, using the only evidence remaining...the bodies of three of the crew, buried by their shipmates but containing vital evidence that the Canadian ice preserved.

Really, a genuinely gripping read, if a little sad and unnerving.

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