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Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition (Viagens Radicais)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  601 ratings  ·  77 reviews
"Simply Compelling" -- Mordecai Richler

Available for the first time as an e-book, "Frozen in Time" tells the dramatic story of how Sir John Franklin's elite naval forces came within sight of the Northwest Pasage, only to succumb to unimaginable horrors. A gripping tale of cannibalism, bureaucratic hubris, great courage and ground-breaking science, it shows how the excavati
ebook, 376 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Greystone Books (first published 1987)
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Aug 01, 2013 Punk rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who enjoyed Dan Simmons' The Terror
Non-Fiction. The Franklin Expedition left England in 1845, made a stop in Greenland, met up with some whalers by an iceberg, and then disappeared into the Canadian Arctic forever, leaving behind two message cylinders, hundreds of tin cans, and three marked graves.

I recently read Dan Simmons' The Terror, a fictional account of the Franklin expedition, and became fascinated by the subject. I wanted to learn more about the history of the expedition so I wouldn't leave the topic under the mistaken i
Never, ever, ever go on an expedition in the arctic.....NEVER.
I recently rediscovered this fascinating book...

I happened upon it by chance way back in 1990, when it jumped out at me at a B. Dalton Bookseller. Morbid, I know, but the idea of frozen corpses from 1845 looking as if they'd died yesterday—or stranger still, as if they hadn't died at all—is incredibly intriguing. To me, at least. And apparently to the girl I was dating at the time, as she totally kept my copy.

I recently came across something about the Franklin expedition and began to recall ho
Haunting, distributing, atmospheric and educational - Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition is this and more.

From detailed source accounts comprising a bevy of topics (the nutritional value tinned cans as food aboard the ships, letters to the sailors from loved ones, and more), this chilling tale of the doomed Franklin Expedition to the Arctic to chart the North Passage is a historians and general interest readers' delight - despite the macabre and detailed exhumation of frozen co
William Battersby
This is one of the epochal books about the Franklin Expedition.

At the time Owen Beattie's perception in identifying lead poisoning as a cause of the disaster was perhaps the biggest step forward since the nineteeth century. Having formed this hypothesis from examining bone fragments from King William Island, he then masterminded the autopsies of the three men buried at Beechey Island, which further validated the hypothesis.

The book takes us through the problem as Beattie saw it and gives a gene
This slim volume offers revelations and surprises for anyone interested in the modern investigation into the ill-fated 1845 expedition of Sir John Franklin and crew to discover the Northwest Passage. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that distilling the story down to forensic data and clinical examination and testing does not rob the Franklin expedition of any of its historic and mythic resonance. Indeed, these new details add a poignant human dimension to the Franklin legend, including som ...more
John Lucy
Riveting. Who knew a book about a failed sailing exploration in the 19th century could be so great? I certainly didn't and I was pleasantly surprised.

Half the book covers the British obsession with Arctic exploration in the 19th century, hoping to find the Northwest Passage, obviously with a special focus on the failed and lost exploration of Sir John Franklin. Even if you don't already know about Franklin's expedition and have no interest in it, you can still find this book very interesting and
♥ Marlene♥
Interesting book. Just worth it for the photos of the frozen bodies alone. Wow. Maybe I should have read this book before I read The fictional Terror by Dan Simmons. Now I see how much he has taken from this book.
Anyways thanks to the reburial and examination of the 3 sailors of the lost Franklin expedition we have learned a little bit of what happened to them.

It is clear that the biggest reason is as always money. The Navy decided to go with a new provisioner for the food who offered it at cut
Highly recommend to anyone interested in the history of polar expeditions, the search for the northwest passage and even medical history. A very thorough account of what doomed the Franklin Expedition.

Pieces together what most likely happened by using available forensic and anthropological evidence, along with historical documents from initial rescue attempts/investigations and first-hand Inuit accounts (seeing emaciated white sailors wandering aimlessly across the Arctic ice, mouths black and d
MiZzy Miz
The franklin expedition has fascinated me since I first read about it. This book unlike Dan shimmon's book based on this. Gives a detailed history of the franklin expedition, as well as modern day facts as to why the crew's of the boat's perished in such terrible way's All in all a fascinating read.
Three-and-a-half stars - four because I finally got to see the photographs of the Franklin mummies again after thirty years, three because the author writes in this weird third-person-semi-omniscient style that could have used some interviews with the scientists involved.
With the location of the Erebus all over Canadian news, I felt it worth my time to read about the tragedy of the Franklin Expedition and its associated explorations and those that followed it. This introduces an idea not generally discussed in the other media surrounding the expedition - namely, the involvement of not only scurvy and starvation but the effects of lead poisoning (from tinned meats) in contributing to the expedition's downfall. Hopefully as Parks Canada releases more information a ...more
I love stories about expeditions that end in mystery/disaster, particularly if they take place at sea in the 19th century, so obviously this tale was right up my alley. The writing got a bit dry and technical for my liking when the focus was on the 1980s exhumation work, but the earlier portion about the Franklin expedition itself was great.

This book introduced me to historical hottie James Clark Ross, the dreamiest man in the Royal Navy.

I really am wary of eating tinned food now, even though I
Doug Schwer
I never appreciated the extreme conditions that the 19th century polar explorers had to endure as they searched for the Northwest Passage, and the fact that they regularly spent two or three polar winters with the ships surrounded by ice, sometimes crushing the ships. The stories of various polar explorations and their hardships, and the discovery that lead poisoning from the tins exacerbated the scurvy and starvation already inflicting crews was fascinating. I knocked it a point for the writing ...more
The Arctic is cold, man.
This is a fantastic book!

The book is presented in two sections. Part 1 outlines some of the history behind the Franklin expedition and chronicles the subsequent rescue missions from the late 1940s and 1850s and their findings. Part 1 contains striking artwork from that time period depicting the Arctic landscape, the ships, skeletons found at the boat place, as well as photos of some of the ship captains. While I enjoyed the historical chapters, I found Part 2 to be the more interesting part of t
I breezed through this one after stumbling across a YouTube video about this expedition. This whole "explore the arctic thing", was flat out whacked. To spend time on a ship in the dead cold, with barely anything to eat and no guarantee that you will ever get out of there, seems nuts. But most pioneers in anything were a little.

This book was awesome to me for many different reasons. It literally puts you into the desolation that is the arctic. The descriptions are so complete, that this book mad
Okay. I'm still reading this one--I've picked it back up for the first time since August--and I do have a couple things to say.

One: If you're looking for a good history-history of the Franklin expedition (that is, "so-and-so died on this day, then they moved to blarghargh"), then this might not be the book for you. (I'm still searching for good books on this subject; I have The Man Who Ate His Boots: The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage sitting next to my bed, and I've alre
Janette Fleming
The Franklin expedition was not alone in suffering early and unexplained deaths. Indeed, both Back (1837) and Ross (1849) suffered early onset of unaccountable "debility" aboard ship and Ross suffered greater fatalities during his single winter in the Arctic than did Franklin during his first. Both expeditions were forced to retreat because of the rapacious illness that stalked their ships.

Frozen in Time makes the case that this illness (starting with the Back expedition) was due to the crews'
Ronald Kelland
This is a seminal book for anybody with an interest in the Franklin Expedition, so, as a person who is fascinated with all things Franklin, I am somewhat surprised that it has taken me so many years to get around to reading it myself. This slim volume is a description of a multi-year archaeological and forensic investigation into the deaths of three victims of the Franklin expedition. The book offers a very brief history of the tragic expedition before diving into the exhumation of the graves. I ...more
Victor Gibson
The disappearance of the Franklin Expedition is one of those unsolved events that has engaged explorers and scientists, ever since they failed to return from their attempt to find the Northwest passage. Subsequent expeditions fared not much better and their efforts to find Franklin and his shipmates is fascinating. Since reading this book I have read several about exploration into the Antarctic and the ships used for the Franklin expedition, Terror and Erebus, are commemorated in the names of tw ...more
Madelene Nieman
If you love arctic tragedy and gruesome pictures of corpses, then this book is for you!

Frozen in Time is almost evenly split into two sections, dealing individually with the journey and destruction of Franklin's voyage and the 1980's exploration of several key sites. Both are equally gripping. Though the detailed explanation of the exhumation of bodies is at times tedious, it is well worth it.

Not only are the events described in great detail, but relevant context is given, a key for those new
And with that, I've read 100 books this year! This book was quite interesting--I love the sense that we can look back through time and see some of what it was like for Franklin and his men. I found the argument that lead poisoning must have been a factor in the failure of the expedition to be quite compelling, based on the autopsies Beattie conducted and analysis of bone fragments found on King William Island.

Thanks, Sara, for the Amazon card I used to buy this!
Having read The Terror by Dan Simmons a few years ago, I found this book to be a fascinating read: a modern-day forensic analysis of the fate of the Franklin expedition, lost in their attempt to find the Northwest Passage across the frozen Canadian waters. What can be more unsettling and fascinating than losing into those remote wastes several hundred well equipped men, ultiamtely going years on morbid conjecture with scant evidence: all folks knew were that they were truly lost and had probably ...more
Matthew Mccrady
Fascinating book, although the story of the Franklin expedition is necessarily vague. No one survived, and no records survived from after the ship departed civilization. The mummified corpses of the three expedition members are gruesome to look at, but also mesmerizing. The black and white pictures in the Kindle edition only pique interest; they make you want to see more, preferably color photos.
Hazel Wheeler
I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could. The exploration I the stories around the arctic expeditions are absolutely fascinating, and I couldn't help but be impressed by the drive/lunacy of those who would spend multiple years on a wooden ship in the arctic. On purpose. Descriptions of the author's excavations seemed a bit self-indulgent at times, but overall an enjoyable book.
Not only scientifically fascinating, but truly imbues the historic recount of the lost Franklin expedition with tremendous humanity that is only heightened by the graphically haunting images of the exhumed bodies of some of the crew.

"Seeking gold and glory leaving, weathered broken, bones, and a long-forgotten lonely cairn of stones."
-Stan Rogers
An interesting read, this book covers the many expeditions sent out to answer the question of 'What happened to the Franklin Expedition'. It appears to be well documented and written. I came away more with a cringe that a satiated curiosity though. Just thinking of all the time, material, effort and cost of all the expeditions sent out after the 'why' and 'how' is beyond me.
Corinna Bechko
Really fascinating look at the fate of the Franklin expedition and what killed them all (it wasn't polar bears or the cold, amazingly). Lots of interesting photos of icy mummies too, and some truly horrifying descriptions of what their last days must have been like. Read it and be glad you don't have to go on a three year sea voyage or waste away from scurvy.
Being a fan of both maritime and arctic exploration history, I found this book to be very interesting and educational. I have become quite familiar with the more common problems and conditions that arise during these type of voyages. In this book, a previously unrecognized ailment that likely contributed to failure and death on many voyages was exposed. As with a lot of new technology, the good is realized first, then in time, the bad rears it's ugly head. I don't want to spoil the story in anyw ...more
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