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Download Frozen in Time: Fate of the Franklin Expedition epub

by Owen Beattie

The Franklin expedition was not alone in suffering early and unexplained deaths. Indeed, both Back (1837) and Ross (1849) suffered early onset of unaccountable "debility" aboard ship and Ross suffered greater fatalities during his single winter in the Arctic than did Franklin during his first. Both expeditions were forced to retreat because of the rapacious illness that stalked their ships. Frozen in Time makes the case that this illness (starting with the Back expedition) was due to the crews' overwhelming reliance on a new technology, namely tinned foods. This not only exposed the seamen to lead, an insidious poison - as has been demonstrated in Franklin's case by Dr. Beattie's research - but it also left them vulnerable to scurvy, the ancient scourge of seafarers which had been thought to have been largely cured in the early years of the nineteenth century. Fully revised, Frozen in Time will update the research outlined in the original edition, and will introduce independent confirmation of Dr. Beattie's lead hypothesis, along with corroboration of his discovery of physical evidence for both scurvy and cannibalism. In addition, the book includes a new introduction written by Margaret Atwood, who has long been fascinated by the role of the Franklin Expedition in Canada's literary conscience, and has made a pilgrimage to the site of the Franklin Expedition graves on Beechey Island.
Download Frozen in Time: Fate of the Franklin Expedition epub
ISBN: 0586203206
ISBN13: 978-0586203200
Category: History
Subcategory: World
Author: Owen Beattie
Language: English
Publisher: Grafton; New edition edition (February 23, 1989)
Pages: 192 pages
ePUB size: 1262 kb
FB2 size: 1883 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 307
Other Formats: azw doc docx lrf

I could not put this book down. It's combination of a forensics detective story, the examination of and resolution of a gripping mystery, anthropology, and modern science pushed to the limits make this an unforgettable and very moving book. A unique story wonderfully told.
This book was actually two separate stories: the Franklin expedition (and various others around the same time) then the story of the 1984 scientific endeavor to investigate the tragedy. The first part is good enough though not particularly well written. The second part of the book went in to far too much detail about the scientific team's efforts. The book could have used a much better editor as it seemed at times it was simply trying its best to get to 250 pages. Ironically, probably the best part of the book is the 10 page epilogue at the very end. It wraps everything up nicely and puts it into context with other exploration disasters (namely De Long) of the time. Why could the other 250 pages not be as clear and succinct?
A classic of Franklinology. If you're interested in the fate of Franklin's men, this is a very readable place to start. The authors performed autopsies on the only three men for which complete skeletons and identities exist, because they died early in the expedition. Their discovery of very high lead levels in the bodies took the investigation in what must have happened to Franklin's men in a then-new direction--lead (probably) in the canned provisions. Not everyone agrees, I understand, but no one can doubt the rigor of their work.
While most of us today can't fully appreciate the gritty particulars or truly know the frozen environment that saw the last of the Franklin Expedition, TRAPPED IN POLAR ICE FOR 2 YEARS IN 1845 and NARY A SURVIVOR TO TELL THE TALE, this gripping, well-written book comes about as close as we're likely to get. I can't help but throw in a shout to The Terror, the Dan Simmons book that lit the fire of DISCOVERY (reading historical nonfiction?!?) within me, but this book lived up to it's billing and the pics were amazing. As a creature-comfort-spoiled 21st century woman reading this and other books on the subject, my mind is repeatedly boggled by the undertaking and hardship endured by this era of explorers, and while the NW passage turned out to be a bit of a waterhaul, Kudos to those willing to TRYTRYTRY. Still can't wait to have dinner with Captain Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier, my chosen historical figure. Beast Mode is my living DinnerDesire recipient, :D
I'm a polar exploration junkie, so I've read an ungodly amount of books about Sir John Franklin, James Clark Ross, Charles Francis Hall, and other famous explorers. Somehow, I always come back to this one.
Even an interesting event like the Franklin Expedition can fall victim to history writers who make their subject boring. This volume is not like that. It's genuinely entertaining and informative. It packs a lot of facts at you from the beginning to (what is doubtfully) the end, but it doesn't feel like a textbook. I just wish it was longer! Hopefully another volume will be released as developments are made in the case.
You were probably introduced to this subject in some way by seeing or hearing about the Beechey Island mummies. But do you know their stories? The archaeological section of this book goes into detail about the three bodies and how analysis of their tissues has helped archaeologists understand what happened to their fellow crewmen.
In all, this is one of the few historical nonfiction books I'd recommend even to people who aren't fond of the genre. It can be gruesome, as the subject itself is gruesome, but it's a good read.
I have read many books on polar exploration, & while this may not have had the gripping intensity of those written by early explorers & their incredible fights for survival (which many lost), I still read it in an afternoon, because I didn't want to put it down. I am also intrigued by books on forensic sciences, so those with both interests will find it a real treat. It discusses the various early attempts to find evidence of the Franklin expedition, and nicely segues into the recent (1980s+) finding of the three known graves & the scientific work done on the remains. Beattie treats the frozen men with respect, and the examinations & reinterments are admirable. The writing is quite arresting, especially for a non-fiction book, such as when Battie describes moving one of the bodies; As they carry the body of the first man exhumed, John Torrington, his (Torrington's) head lolls on Beattie's shoulder & the two end up eye-to-eye; the scene is remarkably affecting & eerie for Beattie & for the reader (at least this reader).

There are several photographs of the bodies, which may be hard on the excessively squeamish. But they are amazing.

I was really curious at seeing Margaret Atwood listed as an author...I haven't read much of hers since "Handmaid's Tale" & she seemed a bizarre inclusion. However, her Prologue & Epilogues really add to the book.

At one point, Beattie describes a sample of a Clostridium bacteria sample that was taken from one of the men's intestines; they cultured the bacteria & it lived just fine after being frozen for nearly 150 years. What is really frightening is that it turned out to be antibiotic-resistant...even though it first lived long, long before antibiotics were developed. The theory is that resistance to such a powerful toxin as lead gave the bacteria broad resistance. Terrifying to think that we're not only developing strain after strain of Ab-resistant bacteria from overuse of Antibiotics, but could be creating even more resistant strains than we know from all the toxins we pump into our ecosystems.

It is truly fascinating, in a horrible way, to find that most/many of the hideous ailments & some of the bizarre decisions in polar explorations (i.e. Greely's apparently bumbling leadership) turn out to perhaps be a product of a "great new technical advancement;" tinned food with lead solder....lead poisoning. As Atwood mentions in her Epilogue, the book demolishes the romantic assumption that "...great men die only of great causes." For many men who braved insanely difficult conditions to be laid low by canned goods just seems...wrong.