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The Franklin Conspiracy: Cover-up, Betrayal and the Astonishing Secret Behind the Lost Arctic Expedition (A hounslow book) Paperback – 1 May 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn Group; 2001 First Canadian Edition edition (1 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0888822340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888822345
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,283,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jeffrey Blair Latta has contributed popular science columns to Canadian newspapers, been published in the prestigious science journal Nature, and written two one-act plays as well as several screen plays. Though originally majoring in Physics at Queen's University, he graduated in Film Studies. John Robert Colombo, the author of the best-selling Colombo's Canadian Quotations and Fascinating Canada, has written, translated, or edited over two hundred books. He is the recipient of the Harbourfront Literary Prize and the Order of Canada, and is a Fellow of the Frye Centre.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Harbottle on 23 July 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book promises alot but delivers very little that has not already been placed in the public domain. He hints at cannabalism as if it could be a novel idea, when it is a known fact, suggests a cover-up when most records are freely quoted in other books (see the excellent Glyn Williams), and even hints at strange lights in the sky, UFO's and alian autopsies! He promises to reveal the astonishing secret of the Franklin expedition, but then states on the last page that more evidence has yet to surface (i.e. if only we had some of the photographs that may have been taken). The Franklin crew died of scurvy, and sickness and disorientation brought about by lead poisoning. Enough said. One star for entertainment value.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alisdair Fleming on 15 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a well written book which documents the doomed Franklin expedition very well. There is a great deal of good historical research, but the coarse and simplified accompanying maps really are atrocious and should never have made it into the final print.
It was an easy read and I kept waiting for Latta to reveal his gripping theory. No joy - there was none! Frankly, the book's extravagant title is totally misleading. Apart from a couple of obscure references to a tribe of ferocious giant eskimos with big teeth, Latta gave us no insight into his claim of an amazing Admiralty "cover up".
All in all, ignoring the conspiracy red-herring, this is a good read for those who are not familiar with the Franklin disaster. If you already know about this and all the associated theories regarding it's failure, don't expect this book to add your knowledge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By samsbooksrh on 22 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
The Franklin Conspiracy is a good read. It is engaging and fluidly written by someone who has studied a lot of material relating to the event. Some of the interpretations of that material give food for thought and have originality. If this book had been about the failure of the Admiralty to find the Erebus and Terror, it would have been a much better book. Instead it is about the resistence of the admiralty to find the lost expedition, and that is nonsense. This really is a missed opportunity. The author is a good writer and manages to engage interest quickly and to keep the narrative flowing nicely, but it is plagued by a juvenility that spoils the whole thing. The author's interpretation of the Victory Point Record is a case in point. He offers a reasonable explanation for the fact that Fitzjames rather than Franklin completed it by suggesting that it was written by Fitzjames at the camp on Cape Fury. This is an interesting theory and one that I've not seen postulated elsewhere. But then he goes on to suggest that the note beneath Crozier's signature about making for Back's Fish River, refers to Graham Gore's sortie of the previous year. This is ridiculous, so ridiculous that you have the feeling that the author doesn't really believe it either. As also, his suggestion that the ships wintered over two years on Beechey Island and then miraculously appeared in Victoria Strait like a kind of Victorian Philadelphia Experiment.
Sensible readers can see his point of view regarding the endless apparent mistakes made in the various searches that took place throughout the 1850s and 1860s, but Britain was engaged in a terrible war in the Crimea at this time, and the fact that the Admiralty continued searching is testimony to their honest intentions.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
About the best book you will read on this subject.
It throws new light on the story and points out some amazing things that, if true, make this event the most scandalous and disgraceful cover up in naval history. If you are interested in this subject it will keep you hooked from cover to cover.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
pay no mind to the negative reviews 14 Jun. 2011
By Jeremiah J. Gordon - Published on
Format: Paperback
My word people, what do you want? If your first introduction to the Franklin expedition is this book, then I would say, read some better accounts out there minus the conspiracy theory. However, if you like me, have read countless books on the Franklin expedition, then you will welcome this take on an otherwise repeated tale. If you enjoyed this, you will more than likely enjoy the fictional "Terror" by Dan Simmons. People need to be less negative and relax. I don't think it was the purpose of the author to rehash old news. The point is, we will likely never know what truly happened. It is nice to imagine there might be something out there which was and is being "covered up". If you are that distraught at the book, I question whether or not you really know what you like to read. I knew walking into this one ,because of the title, that what I was about to read was the author's opinion based on loose facts that are out there about this expedition. If I wanted to read a more "factual" account, I would have re-read for the hundredth time the other works I have on the subject. I recommend this book to those who know the story quite well already and don't mind a bit of mystery combined with some imagination.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
You will Never look at the north quite the same again 25 Nov. 2003
By Black Flag - Published on
Format: Paperback
A facsinating and mysterious book that raises as many questions as it answers. The story covers more than just the expeditions of Franklin himself. It covers the tragic mistakes made that make it appear as though the Admiralty had no intention of finding him.
It is a love story as well - Lady Franklin refused to give up the search for her long lost husband. However, the Admiralty first refused to help. Rather than give up, she sent her own rescue party. What the Royal Navy did to make sure it would fail.
It also delves into the previous and subsequent voyages of the era that tried to find the elusive North West Passage.
Giants, mysterious cairns deep into the mainland, graves hundreds of miles apart. Ship wrecks where they have no business being. The apparent death of Franklin early in the voyage - how?
Lead poisoning? As with most simple answers to complex tragedies, this just doesnt come close to answering all the riddles of this desperate story.
What is the Royal Navy STILL trying to hide off King Williams Island?
Great Book.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I read many books on arctic and antarctic exploration 22 May 2004
By Melvin Scott - Published on
Format: Paperback
and hands down, this book is the worst. To put it bluntly, it is a piece of garbage. To intermingle myth with history without a thread of fact, to question every piece of evidence on its own without fitting the pieces of the puzzle together, and to even suggest a conspiracy can survive and let alone be passed down from generation to generation, is nuts. Was there incompetence in the Franklin saga? Definitely. But to suggest a coverup to an event that could not possibly have anything at all to hide, was just a waste of my time. I kept waiting for the punchline, but the book was like a joke that just was not funny. My most painful experience with this book is that I picked it up to take overseas with me, and it was the only English languaged reading material that I had. Never take just one book with you on a trip.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Book made me think about Franklin's disappearance in a critical way 21 Dec. 2013
By Ivan Serov - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned so much ! To think, to question.

Yes, it may well be that people in the Admiralty did not want Franklin found. Maybe a wager , perhaps? A big time wager, where some higher ups had a lot to lose if Franklin came back.

The part about Crozier staying with Inuit over a Winter, reminded me of the book, "Desire Provoketh"- in which Henry Hudson stayed with Inuit after the mutiny .Maybe Crozier, too, lived out his life with the Inuit.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Franklin Deserves Better 3 Dec. 2007
By Aglooka - Published on
Format: Paperback
In his Acknowledgements, the author thanks individuals without whom "this book would still be languishing in the back of a drawer." Those people may have been well-meaning, but they did a disservice to everyone, including the author, as this wretched book should never have been published. Nor should anyone waste his time reading it.
Much of the book concerns an elaborate conspiracy by the British Admiralty to fail to locate the Franklin Expedition, which it had, as the author concedes, sent out with the most lavish and advanced preparation. As in all such theories, the conspirators are all-powerful and all-knowing, though the author never bothers to explain who the members of "the Admiralty" were, how the membership changed over the years, or how they were able to swear hundreds of officers and men to everlasting secrecy. Though this would be the most (if not the only) successful mass conspiracy in history, the author does not attempt to explain how the omnipotent conspirators would benefit from the failure to find Franklin. Furthermore, if the Admiralty was so omniscient, it would not have needed to dispatch Franklin; or the expedition could not possibly have failed.
The later portions of the book become even further detached from reality and in the process forget to show what these bizarre speculations have to do with the conspiracy. If the Franklin party fell victim to supernatural forces, the Admiralty could hardly have been to blame and would have had no motive for a cover-up.
To Europeans (and probably to its original inhabitants) the Arctic is a strange and terrifying place. In the course of hundreds of years of contact over this vast region, it is not surprising that a collection of odd, weird, and inexplicable occurrences have been recorded. It becomes all too easy to spin ridiculous theories by selecting scattered examples from this immense body of often suspect literature. There will always be mysteries associated with the Franklin Expedition due to the limited and confusing nature of the remaining evidence, but this deplorable book--if it is meant to be taken seriously--adds nothing to our understanding.
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