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General books on Polar Exploration

Barrow's Boys, by Fergus Fleming, © 2000.
John Barrow was the second secretary of the Admiralty in 19th century England, and the man credited with the creation of the Arctic Exploration movement. Fleming is a delight to read. Amazon has a review that I couldn't add to if I tried, so rather than listen to me, why don't you check into it. Easily available.

Bold Endeavors; Lessons from Polar and Space Exploration, by Jack Stuster, © 1996.
This was recommended to us by the author, but we think it will help when Framheim finally gets its game up.

Discovery of the North Pole; also other noted Polar expeditions, by Dr. Frederick A. Cook and Commander Robert E. Peary, © 1909.
This is one of the many books pieced together from various explorer's accounts and released in hopes of capitalising on the Cook-Peary argument. With an introduction by Adolphus Greeley, it is a pretty fascinating account of Polar activity while it was still fresh. Difficult to find.

Captain Bligh's Portable Nightmare, by John Toohey, © 2000.
It's not polar, but Bligh's open boat journey after the mutiny (on The Bounty) had parallels to Shackleton's and his personality sounds strangely Scott-like. However, his navigation skills are in the same league as Worsley's, and his open boat journey was twice as long as Shackleton's.

Great Exploration Hoaxes, by David Roberts, © 1982.
A little skepticism is a good thing. The more we read about Byrd, the more we admire Amundsen.

I May be Some Time: Ice and the English Imagination, by Francis Spufford, © 1998.
This book take the theme of ice and interweaves it with English culture and Edwardian philiosphy. It gets a bit high-falutin' at times, but if you've kept up on your polar history, it can be quite fun. Easily available.

The Lands of Silence: A History of Arctic and Antarctic Exploration, by Sir Clements Markham.
This book is so rare, we have yet to locate it. But, given that the involvement of Sir Clements affected every Polar expedition mentioned on this website, we feel it would be fascinating to read. Very difficult to find.

Pole to Pole with Michael Palin, by Michael Palin, © 1986
More world travelogue than Polar book, it is nonetheless funny (it is, after all Michael Palin), and gives a good modern account of what's going on at the poles nowadays. Easily available.

Safe Return Doubtful: The Heroic Age of Polar Exploration, by John Maxtone-Graham. This lively book presents an eminently readable account of the history of polar exploration, from the Franklin expedition to the race to the South Pole, and virtually everything in-between, including Amundsen's Northwest passage, Nansen's crossing of Greenland and polar drift, and the ill-fated expeditions of Greeley and Andree. This is an excellent book for anyone interested in an overview of polar exploration. The only thing we don't understand is the author's overt admiration for Sir Clements Markham, whom we've always viewed as a stuffy "Old Arctic" poseur. That having been said, this is otherwise a fascinating book – well worth the read. Not so readily available (out of print).

Copyright © 2000 Emily Slatten; about framheim; about the pictures