Saturday, September 13, 2014

The woman who launched the search for Sir John Franklin

"Denied a role in Victorian England’s male-dominated society, Jane Franklin (1791–1875) took her revenge by seizing control of that most masculine of pursuits, Arctic exploration, and shaping its history to her own ends." This clarification went missing during my own final edit of the book, to my lasting mortification. So it's great to see it turning up in a promotional blurb here, where anyone can easily order a copy.  Between 1848 and 1859, thirty-five expeditions went searching for Sir John Franklin and, as I write in the book, Lady Franklin "variously organized, inspired, and financed eleven of these -- nearly one third." Lady Franklin's Revenge runs 468 pages and, yes, it's more relevant than ever. Where else will you get the Charles Dickens angle? The book won the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography and, in conjunction with Fatal Passage and Ancient Mariner, landed the Pierre Berton Award for History. There's more at the HarperCollins Canada site, and here I discover an interview that is probably the best-ever backgrounder. Far be it from me to blow my own horn or tout my own wares. But, hey, someone has to do it.

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