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Unknown Shore: The Lost History of England's Arctic Colony
by Robert Ruby
Here is the true story of how the first European colony in the New World was lost to history, then found again three hundred years later. England's first attempt at colonizing the New World was not at Roanoke or Jamestown but on a mostly frozen, pocket-sized island in the Canadian Arctic. Queen Elizabeth I called that place Meta Incognita -- the Unknown Shore. Backed by El ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 1st 2002 by Holt Paperbacks
(first published January 1st 2001)
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Great book. Dual intermixed stories of Arctic exploration. The first is the ill-fated voyages of colonization, exploration & "mining" of Martin Frobisher in the 16th. The second is that of Charles Francis Hall's travels to the same region (in the 19thC) in an attempt to unravel the mystery of 5 vanished sailors from Frobisher's first voyage. It is a tale of greed, the northwest passage, ill-fated colonization and the difficulty of Arctic travel and life (unless, of course, you pay attention ...more
Jan 23, 2008 Megan rated it liked it · review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to read history
This is an account of one of the lesser known explorer/adventurer/pirate Martin Frobisher attempted to find the Northwest Passage, and failing to do so attempted to establish the first English colony in the new world. The story is interesting for history buffs because of the remoteness of the era and the courage, cruelty and futility of the effort. How things got done during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I is fascinating, the author is clearly a master of the era and can tell a story as well. It ...more
Nov 14, 2010 Lara rated it liked it
Man, it took me a loooooooong time to get through this one. I found the facts pretty interesting, but the telling of those facts maybe a little uneven--there were parts that were really fascinating and other parts that had me nodding off in boredom. Martin Frobisher sure was an intriguing guy though!
The polar universes are often and inexpressibly vague and mythological. Perhaps that's why for such a number of years they held such heightened scrutiny for would-be explorers scraping across Earth's final frontiers. What is strange, however, is Ruby's account of two parallel arctic explorations three centuries apart make the arctic seem more desirous than the New World (southern edition) in the High Renaissance or industrializing America much later. Martin Frobisher and Charles Francis Hall ser ...more
Interesting tale of the three 16th century English expeditions to Baffin Island and the 19th, 20th and 21st century investigations of this little known history. Most surprising to me is the stunning incuriosity and mostly outright contempt for the Inuit on the part of Martin Frobisher and most of his band of Elizabethan era explorers. Explorers is probably the wrong word as they were less interested in finding the northwest passage than in enriching themselves by bringing back ore that they thou ...more
This was a good one! Arctic exploration, without any starving or freezing to death! This book traces the history of Martin Frobisher's series trips from England to Baffin Island in 1576. He is always vaguely mentioned in the Arctic books, but this covered it. (He was mining for gold. No, really.) Intertwined with this is the story of Charles Francis Hall, who got interested in the Arctic and decided to go there. And maybe find John Franklin, but, mostly just to go. And so he did. And found that ...more