The polar north has always lured the passionate mind, the eccentric, and the damned. Pierre Bertons The Arctic Grail is a substantial chronicle of these explorers, some of whom sought an economical northern route to the East and others adventure and fame, not to mention the backers who supported their primarily marine expeditions. Bertons prose reads like good fiction, providing insight into the lives of the men who journeyed north--and those left behind hoping for their safe return. I would not recall you, wrote Isabella Parry to her absent husband in her diary. Your path leads to glory and honour and never would I turn you from that path when I feel it is the path you ought to go....
The obstinate pride of the planners and leaders of these expeditions commanded respect from their peers despite a recurring failure to learn from past, often fatal errors. The icon of the north, John Franklin, who through his disappearance became the symbol of nineteenth-century Arctic exploration, is but one of the players. Other less familiar names figure in. Theres John Ross, whose 1818 expedition was one of the earliest. And William Edward Parry, whose failed 1824-1825 voyage to find the Northwest Passage resulted in the wrecking of his vessel The Fury. And first officer W. Parker Snow, who specialized in tall tales of the murder of John Franklin by Eskimos. Each contributes to The Arctic Grail a sense of adventure, passion, and perseverance in the face of all that nature can unleash. --Tim Tokaryk
This spirited history probes the 15-year search for Sir John Franklin's lost expedition in the mid-19th century and the Frederick Cook-Robert Peary controversy. "Readers who think the ultimate adventure took place at the South Pole should rediscover the Arctic explorations," said PW. Illustrated. Author tour.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I wish I had time to read all of Berton's books.
This is arguably the best account of the amazing feats of the 19th century Arctic exploration. Read more
Not as good as the Last Spike or the National Dream, but it is still Pierre Berton, which is to say that stories are masterfully crafted and written. Read morePublished on Jan. 18 2012 by G. McNabb
First thing, I ran out of Antarctic books to read. I've read them all. So, naturally, I had to find something else to read. Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2009 by Marc Ranger
I was already a great fan of Pierre Berton, as well as being very interested in arctic exploration and history, so it was a natural that I picked this book up. Read morePublished on May 22 2004 by Melvin Scott
The book is a superb account of the history of Arctic exploration in the 19th and early 20th century. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2001 by Leo Hamulczyk
Out of print for a number of years, "The Arctic Grail" is indeed the Holy Grail of Arctic history books. Read morePublished on July 23 2001 by J. BURGESON
I would like to recommend another book to anyone who has read "Artic Grail" -- it is by Edmund Bolles and is called "The Ice Finders" -- it picks up the story... Read morePublished on May 16 2000 by Stephen Balbach
I have read this book THREE times. It is a well written page turner, beautifully describing the era, and mentality, of the Arctic explorations of the 1800's. Read morePublished on April 1 2000