Although Arctic explorer and Hudson Bay Company surveyor John Rae (1813–1893) travelled and recorded the final uncharted sections of the Northwest Passage, he is best known for his controversial discovery of the fate of the lost Franklin Expedition of 1845. Based on evidence given to him by local Inuit, Rae determined that Franklin’s crew had resorted to cannibalism in their final, desperate days. Seen as maligning a national hero, Rae was shunned by British society.
This collection of personal correspondence—reissued here for the first time since its original publication in 1953—illuminates the details of Rae’s expeditions through his own words. The letters offer a glimpse into Rae’s daily life, his ideas, musings, and troubles. Prefaced by the original, thorough introduction detailing his early life, John Rae’s Arctic Correspondence is a crucial resource for any Arctic enthusiast.
This new edition features a foreword by researcher and Arctic enthusiast Ken McGoogan, the award-winning author of eleven books, including Fatal Passage: The Untold Story of John Rae (HarperCollins, 2002).