A Narrative of Arctic Discovery, from the Earliest Period to the Present Time: With the Details of the Measures Adopted by Her Majesty's Government for the Relief of the Expedition Under Sir John Franklin

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This 1850 account of the history of Arctic exploration was dedicated to Lady Franklin, whose energy in spurring on expeditions in search of her husband and his two ships, by then missing for five years, was widely admired. John Shillinglaw (d.1862), a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, was able both to give a historical perspective and to describe the most recent efforts being made to discover Franklin's fate. The narrative begins with the Viking exploration and settlement of Iceland and Greenland, and possible landings in North America. While focusing on British voyages in more recent history, Shillinglaw also includes Russian and Danish activities, as well as the founding of trading firms like the Hudson's Bay Company. But the greater part of the book describes, in considerable detail, voyages from the late eighteenth century up to 1850, and offers a useful synthesis of the first-hand accounts published in this period.