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James Fitzjames: the Mystery Man of the Franklin Expedition
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James Fitzjames: the Mystery Man of the Franklin Expedition

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published 2010 by Dundurn
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  51 ratings  ·  8 reviews


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Madeleine
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
James Fitzjames' origins are pretty mysterious, but William Battersby does a great job of sounding out the possibilities of his background and his life, and you get both the sense of how earnestly interested (and fond!) Battersby is of his subject, and what Fitzjames was like as a man. (In short, a daring, exuberant, loveable dumbass. Since when is bringing a cheetah on as a ship's pet ever a Smart Idea, Jems???) Very enjoyable until the inevitable tragedy of the Franklin Expedition made me Sad, ...more
Knitted Diver
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very well researched book about an important member of the disastrous Franklin Expedition who, for the longest time, has been critically misunderstood and whose merits have been unappreciated by most scholars. James Fitzjames was neither born in England or, as the events of his life would attest, a gentleman. What he was was so much more interesting and the the author's greatest achievement is his ability to make the reader feel a sense of loss for this charming and ambitious individual who le ...more
Hana
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
a solid 3.5 for me. i love how it's obvious that battersby set out on a personal mission to correct the misconception of who james fitzjames really was. despite being lesser known, fitzjames seems to have left more historical records than crozier, so this had a lot more details and personality imbued into it. the events leading up to the start of the expedition in 1845 was wonderfully detailed and is a great resource for anyone learning about the franklin expedition.

on the other hand
...more
Crawfish Carlos
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: terror-related
Overall this is a very interesting book about a fascinating man. Although this is probably especially interesting for those interested in the Franklin expedition, I'd recommend it for anyone interested in discussion of the exploration conducted by Victorian England. Doesn't quite get 5 stars as the author had a tendency to propose theories based on flimsy facts and then pretend they were established fact. Although I feel this was justified in certain things (such as discussion of Fitzjames' ille ...more
Aaron George
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As one of many Arctic exploration books I have read, I did not expect much from this one. In fact, it sat unread on my nightstand for several months while I debated what I could possibly gain from another story of 19th century Royal Navy blundering.
Having read the book, I feel somewhat embarrassed about prejudging it. The author has done a great job of researching and compiling details of a very interesting man. And then he has similarly done a great job of writing the story in an engaging, tho
...more
J. Jay
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History lovers.
This is a fascinating read about an adventurer few have heard of. Battersby makes Fitzjames come alive, so that we feel as if we're there when Fitzjames sets up his practical jokes, or bats swarms of mosquitoes on the river in Iraq. It's amazing what he and his comrades went through during the Euphrates Expedition, and surviving this, it's crazy that he went on to volunteer for and organize the Franklin Expedition, which of course took Fitzjames's life. Well written, interesting and full of info ...more
Clarissa
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Absolutely loved this book. It was such a joy reading about an very interesting man and his search for an identity. The writer wrote his story so well,feels very personal and the writer clearly admires James Fitzjames. I will admit I did fall in love with Fitzjames.
William Battersby
Best not to say - I wrote it...
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