Race to the Polar Sea: The Heroic Adventures of Elisha Kent Kane

Overview

In the mid-1800s, geographers revived the ancient idea that at the top of the world, encircling the North Pole, lay a temperate "Open Polar Sea." The voyager who discovered this balmy basin would etch his name forever in the annals of exploration.

Among those drawn to the challenge was Dr. Elisha Kent Kane, a charismatic adventurer from a leading Philadelphia family. In 1853, Kane embarked on a search for the Open Polar Sea, and for missing British explorer John Franklin. After ...

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Overview

In the mid-1800s, geographers revived the ancient idea that at the top of the world, encircling the North Pole, lay a temperate "Open Polar Sea." The voyager who discovered this balmy basin would etch his name forever in the annals of exploration.

Among those drawn to the challenge was Dr. Elisha Kent Kane, a charismatic adventurer from a leading Philadelphia family. In 1853, Kane embarked on a search for the Open Polar Sea, and for missing British explorer John Franklin. After sailing farther north than anyone yet, Kane and his men found themselves trapped in ice. In this harsh environment, Kane battled starvation, disease, and a near-mutiny before abandoning ship to lead a desperate escape.

Drawing on documents never before seen, Race to the Polar Sea brings to life a heroic figure famous in his day as America's greatest explorer, and celebrates a shining example of American courage and survival.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582435329
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue Today & Yesterday 1

I Call to Adventure

1 In Search of Franklin 9

2 The Philadelphia Story 15

3 To Die in Harness 22

4 Into the Volcano 28

5 The Romance of Egypt 35

6 Crime & Punishment 42

7 Heart of Darkness 47

8 A Mexican Escapade 54

9 Raising the Curtain 66

10 An Arctic Baptism 74

11 The Beechey Graves 80

12 Locked in the Ice 88

13 After Eighty-Six Days 95

14 Death in the Family 100

15 The Spirit Rapper 107

16 The Open Polar Sea 117

17 Constancy & Change 123

II Trial by Winter

18 Defying the Ice 131

19 The Belly of the Whale 145

20 Science & Speculation 153

21 Decades before Shackleton 163

22 Heroes in Delirium 177

23 Two Discoveries 190

24 The Defection 207

25 The Aristocrat Goes Native 222

26 An Ignominious Return 235

27 A Polar Nightmare 244

28 Godfrey's Treachery 255

29 Away like Stevedores 264

30 The Ice Takes a Man 275

31 An Incredible Journey 284

III Return of the Hero

32 Dr. Kane Home Again! 301

33 Rumors & Rebuttals 310

34 The Writer Delivers 319

35 Two Become One 325

36 The Land of Fog 332

37 The Judgment of 1857 340

38 The Verdict of History 346

Acknowledgments 362

Select Bibliography 364

Illustration Credits 366

Index 367

Maps

Kane's Voyages, 1850-51 & 1853 xii

Kane's Arctic Trials, 1853-55 130

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