Friday, January 18, 2013

The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Our Hero is bringing John Rae back to Scotland, figuratively speaking. Ken has been invited to lecture about Rae at the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland's National Academy. On April 22, he will give a talk entitled John Rae: The Forgotten Hero of Arctic Exploration.  Rae was born in Orkney, northern Scotland, in September, 1813 -- 200 years ago. Having grown up hunting and fishing, he trained in Edinburgh as a doctor, sailed with the Hudson’s Bay Company, and became an outstanding northern traveller. In 1854, while mapping the Arctic coastline, slogging overland through snow and ice with an Inuk and an Ojibway, Rae discovered a strait that proved to be the final link in the Northwest Passage. Returning to camp, he encountered Inuit hunters who informed him that the long-lost expedition of Sir John Franklin had ended in disaster and cannibalism. Ken's book Fatal Passage tells the whole story. In September, Ken will travel to Orkney to participate in a conference on Rae. More on that later.

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