Arctic Miscellanies: A Souvenir of the Late Polar Search

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In 1850, a small squadron of British naval vessels, under the command of Horatio Austin, sought to locate the missing Arctic expedition of Sir John Franklin. The ships were trapped in ice by September 1850 and the men were forced to endure the forbidding Arctic winter, finally returning to England in October 1851. This book, published in 1852 and reissued here in the second edition that quickly followed the first, is a collection of articles which appeared in the Aurora Borealis, a newspaper edited by the surgeon James John Louis Donnet (1816-1905) aboard HMS Assistance. It features contributions from the likes of Sir John Ross, Leopold McClintock, fellow officers and several crew members. Despite the serious nature of the mission and the difficulties of the Arctic conditions, the contributions are often light-hearted, making this work a colourful reflection of life on a polar expedition.