on 29 December 2011
This book is based on actual diaries of James Fitzgerald. Wilson has taken the original text (which forms a few pages of the book) and taken over Fitzjames pen in his imagination to complete the diaries right to the bitter end of this tragic expedition. The effect is seamless, utterly seamless. Wilson has climbed into the skin of of his character in a manner described by Kipling as the mark of a truly gifted writer. Wilson has captured Fitzjames perfectly to become this upper class 19th Century officer with. Wilson has combined this brilliant capture of character with very accurate historical detail and with the twists and turns of a well crafted narrative. It is gripping.
This book analyses in the most readable way what went wrong with this doomed expedition. It records a vital piece of history for both North America and Britain. I recommend this book very highly. It is the best book I read throughout 2011. Somehow the diary format lends itself particularly to Kindle reading - I don't know why, but it does.