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Lost Beneath the Ice: The Story of HMS Investigator [Hardcover]

Andrew Cohen
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 16 2013

When Sir John Franklin disappeared in the Arctic in the 1840s, the British Admiralty launched the largest rescue mission in its history. Among the search vessels was HMS Investigator, which left England in 1850 under the command of Captain Robert McClure. While the ambitious McClure never found Franklin, he and his crew did discover the fabled Northwest Passage.

Like Franklin’s ships, though, Investigator disappeared in the most remote, bleak and unknown place on Earth. For three winters, its 66 souls were trapped in the unforgiving ice of Mercy Bay. They suffered cold, darkness, starvation, scurvy, boredom, depression and madness. When they were rescued in 1853, Investigator was abandoned.

For more than a century and a half, the ship’s fate remained a mystery. Had it been crushed by the ice or swept out to sea? In 2010, Parks Canada sent a team of archaeologists to Mercy Bay to find out. It was a formidable challenge, demanding expertise and patience. There, off the shores of Aulavik National Park, they found Investigator.

Lost Beneath the Ice is a tale of endurance, daring, deceit, courage, and irony. It is a story about a tempestuous crew, their mercurial captain, cynical surgeon and kind-hearted missionary. In the end, McClure found fame but lost his ship, some of his crew and much of his honour. Written with elegance and authority, illustrated with archival imagery and startling underwater photographs of Investigator and its artifacts, this is a sensational story of discovery and intrigue in Canada’s Arctic.

Andrew Cohen is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. Among his books are While Canada Slept, a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, The Unfinished Canadian, and Extraordinary Canadians: Lester B. Pearson. He writes a nationally syndicated column for The Ottawa Citizen and comments regularly on CTV. A professor of journalism and international affairs at Carleton University, he is founding president of the Historica-Dominion Institute. He has twice received Queen’s Jubilee Medals.


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Lost Beneath the Ice: The Story of HMS Investigator + An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
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Review

"That sense of our own smallness also comes across in Lost Beneath the Ice in the pictures of some of the artifacts recovered from the Investigator, particularly the single leather shoe that somehow survived more than a century under Canadian ice. Imagine the foot in the shoe, the man attached to the foot, the ship that man sailed on, the endless, yet insufficient, rations that man ate while his ship was trapped in the ice for nearly two years. Our endurance and our hubris are staggering." (whatifknits.com)

…there's no other book of its kind that so dramatically evokes the hazards of Arctic navigation in the nineteenth century. I certainly can't imagine a more welcome holiday gift for any exploration buffs on one's list. (arcticbookreview.com)

…belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in Arctic history and exploration. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Author Andrew Cohen’s account of the three agonizing years McClure and his starving crew spent with their ice-locked ship before being rescued by a sledge party from HMS Resolute is gripping…Lost Beneath the Ice is a stunning coffee book featuring magnificent contemporary paintings and diagrams, as well as modern-day photographs of the archeological expedition and its discoveries. The five pages of Investigator’s 1848 hull and deck plans alone are worth the cover price. (Maritime Engineering Journal)

About the Author

Andrew Cohen is a journalist and professor of journalism and international affairs at Carleton University. His best-selling books include While Canada Slept, a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award, and The Unfinished Canadian. He writes a syndicated column with Postmedia Newspapers and is a regular commentator on TV. He lives in Ottawa.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars book of photos! Jan. 4 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
only a few pages of a story is large print, every page is a large photo. It is not a "story" book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Ship frozen in Ice Jan. 26 2014
By druidgirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a story about a ship the HMS Investigator was sent on a mission to find Sir John Franklin who was lost at sea.The Investigator's Captain Robert McClure had his own agenda, he never found Sir John but he did find the Northwest Passage. This book tells the story of the hardships suffered by the Investigators crew and officers, while they were stuck in the ice for three winters.
The ship remained a mystery for a century and a half until in 2010 when the Parks Canada sent a team to find it. This was a well told story and the research was excellent.
Thanks to Net Galley and Dundurn for allowing me to read this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars For those of a nautical history persuasion Jan. 25 2014
By Michigan Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book had me at hello. With all due credit to Jerry McGuire. A most beautiful cover photograph lured me in. The book deals with a British ship trapped in the ice in what is now northern Canada back in 1851. The ship and its crew were searching for the much sought after Northwest Passage. Members of a team from Parks Canada had an idea they would be able to locate the Investigator if they were to go to the approximate last known location of the vessel. The book begins with a great mini lesson as to the story behind the Investigator and her crew. The balance of the book is fantastic photos of the expedition (2010) and short captions explaining the photos. If you are a maritime history buff or a Canadian/British history buff you will probably find this book to be quite captivating. The story itself is fascinating. The efforts made by Parks Canada are also quite interesting. A fantastic way to explore from the comfort of your sofa.
5.0 out of 5 stars Review Dec 17 2013
By K. Shuga - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is an amazing book. It's a tale of bravery, lost honor and deceit. I liked the detail and the story line that this brought to my fairytale. For more than a century, Investigator disappeared in the most remote, bleak and unknown place on Earth. The artifacts that were found were beautiful and I wish I would have been there to see it.

Everyone who is anyone should read this book!
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