Memoirs of Lieutenant Joseph Rene Bellot, with His Journal of a Voyage in the Polar Seas in Search of Sir John Franklin

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Joseph Rene Bellot (1826-53) was a French naval officer whose travels took him from Africa to the Arctic before his tragic death at the age of 27. In 1851 he joined a British expedition to search for the missing polar explorer Sir John Franklin (1786-1847), whose expedition to find the North-West Passage was last heard of in July 1845. Although the voyage was unsuccessful in its search, it explored previously unknown areas of the Arctic. Bellot kept extensive notes about his journey in this remote region; they originally appeared in French in 1854 and were translated into English in 1855 and published in two volumes. In Volume 2, Bellot, who was regarded as a hero in both France and Britain, describes how the crew survived the harsh climate of the Arctic winter, his exploration by dog-sledge of inland polar regions and his eventual return to Britain.