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History General

The Arctic Grail

The Quest for the North West Passage and the North Pole, 1818-1909

by (author) Pierre Berton

Publisher
Doubleday Canada
Initial publish date
Oct 2001
Category
General, Polar Regions, Adventurers & Explorers
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780385658454
    Publish Date
    Oct 2001
    List Price
    $32.95

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Description

Scores of nineteenth-century expeditions battled savage cold, relentless ice and winter darkness in pursuit of two great prizes: the quest for the elusive Passage linking the Atlantic and the Pacific and the international race to reach the North Pole. Pierre Berton's #1 best-selling book brings to life the great explorers: the pious and ambitious Edward Parry, the flawed hero John Franklin, ruthless Robert Peary and the cool Norwegian Roald Amundsen. He also credits the Inuit, whose tracking and hunting skills saved the lives of the adventurers and their men countless times.

These quests are peopled with remarkable figures full of passion and eccentricity. They include Charles Hall, an obscure printer who abandoned family and business to head to a frozen world of which he knew nothing; John Ross, whose naval career ended when he spotted a range of mountains that didn't exist; Frederick Cook, who faked reaching the North Pole; and Jane Franklin, who forced an expensive search for her missing husband upon a reluctant British government.

Pierre Berton, who won his first Governor General's award for The Mysterious North, here again gives us an important and fascinating history that reads like a novel as he examines the historic events of the golden age of Arctic exploration.

About the author

Pierre Berton, well-known and well-loved Canadian author, journalist, and media personality, hailed from Whitehorse, Yukon. During his career, he wrote fifty books for adults and twenty-two for children, popularizing Canadian history and culture and reflecting on his life and times. With more than thirty literary awards and a dozen honorary degrees to his credit, Berton was also a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Pierre Berton's profile page

Awards

  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award - Nonfiction

Editorial Reviews

"There's enough riveting reading in The Arctic Grail to last until spring breakup."
The Globe and Mail

"A magnificent history…this should be the definitive study of Arctic exploration for years to come."
Kirkus Reviews

"Berton's book is a thoroughly gripping read."
The Province, Vancouver

Other titles by Pierre Berton

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