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An eminent geographer, Clements Markham (1830-1916) had searched for Sir John Franklin in the Arctic as a young man in the Royal Navy. This stimulated his lifelong passion for the polar regions. Published in 1873, this historical review of Arctic exploration was based on extensive research at the Royal Geographical Society, of which Markham was then secretary and later president. The chapters include coverage of early explorers from the sixteenth century, the voyages of Barents and Hudson, Dutch and English whaling voyages around Spitsbergen, exploration of Greenland's east coast, expeditions into Baffin Bay and Smith Sound, Russian discoveries, and possibilities for scientific progress. A discussion of the best route for future British exploration is provided, with an appendix setting out the case for the expedition of 1875-6. Illustrated with a number of maps, Markham's book keenly sought to stimulate further polar exploration by his countrymen.