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66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Horribly British Way To Die
In 1845 Sir John Franklin and 128 men aboard the vessels Erebus and Terror set sail to navigate a course through the fabled (and unbeknownst to them, utterly useless) North-West Passage. After stopping briefly at Greenland they disappeared literally off the map. The years passed and as concern grew several rescue missions were launched at the urging of Lady Franklin...
Published on 13 Sep 2005 by J. Maclaine

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Franklin exposed
This book is definitely a must read for those interested in the fate of the Franklin expedition. The theory that the men suffered from lead poisoning is fascinating and gives a whole new perspective on the history of British seafaring in the 19th century. For anyone interested in the Age of Discovery, it's an absolute necessity. Plus, the authors' investigations on...
Published on 7 Jun 2012 by R Helen


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66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Horribly British Way To Die, 13 Sep 2005
In 1845 Sir John Franklin and 128 men aboard the vessels Erebus and Terror set sail to navigate a course through the fabled (and unbeknownst to them, utterly useless) North-West Passage. After stopping briefly at Greenland they disappeared literally off the map. The years passed and as concern grew several rescue missions were launched at the urging of Lady Franklin. Gradually macabre details began to filter back. One of the first discoveries was of three gravestones of Franklin crewmen in the permafrost of the tiny Beechey Island, then further south on King William island more relics were unearthed including a note in a cairn detailing Franklin's death in 1847. Gruesome accounts from local Inuit tribes described shambling groups of insane gibbering white men, in some cases resorting to cannibalism in a desperate and futile attempt to survive.
Frozen in Time is a book of two halves. In the first part the authors describe the history of the search for the North West Passage, mention the debilitating effects of polar exploration and also provide an account of the doomed Franklin expedition. The second part of the book is essentially CSI North West Territories. King William island is searched first but reveals only some fragmented skeletons and a few small artefacts. The human remains provide tantalising but inconclusive information. The researchers then decide to exhume the three graves on Beechey Island.
This book has stayed with me ever since I first read it. Few other books have fired up my imagination to the same extent. The descriptions of the exhumations and then the autopsies of the perfectly preserved bodies of John Torrington, John Hartnell and William Braine are absolutely gripping and the resulting conclusions are as horrific as they are fascinating. This has been said before but I'll say it again, I envy anybody who has yet to read this book. I would also urge any readers to resist the temptation to look ahead at the pictures; they are all the more shocking in the context of the appropriate passages. Buy it now.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Franklin fate finally revealed, 20 Sep 2007
By 
Dr. D. Fraser (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Tells the story of the 1845 Franklin expedition in which all 128 men were lost without trace while trying to navigate a course through the North-West Passage. The book tells also of the numerous rescue missions which were launched at the behest of Lady Franklin, which failed to find any trace. Their fate was finally discovered by the great Orcadian explorer Robert Rae, and among his reports was how they had resorted to canibalism. The idea that Victorian gentlemen might behave in such a matter was unnacceptable, and Rae's reputation was rubbished by Charles Dickens among others. And so Rae, who should have been recorded as one of the great innovators of Britich Arctic exploration was sidelined and ignored. It is entirely likely that if his innovations (mostly realisng that "going native" was the best approach) had been widely realised then Britain would have been first to both Poles.

In the first part of "Frozen in Time" the authors document the history of the pursuit of the North West Passage, overview the debilitating effects of arctic exploration and also provide a detailed treatise of the fateful Franklin expedition. The second part of the book covers modern attempts to unravel the fate of franklin. Culminating in the exhumations and autopsies of the perfectly preserved bodies of John Torrington, John Hartnell and William, which finally answers the mystery.

This book is not the most fluent of reads, but is sufficiently well written to ensure that it should appeal both to those who are passionate about arctic history and those with a more passing interest.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, terrible and fascinating, 31 Dec 2000
By A Customer
The Franklin expedition to discover the Northwest Passage (the Holy Grail of its day) was the best prepared and funded in the history of the British Admiralty and it disappeared, two ships and nearly 200 men, with almost no trace. Frantic efforts were made to find survivors, or at least uncover the truth of the disaster, but it remained a mystery for almost 150 years. The story of what actually happened to Franklin and his crew and how it was eventually brought to light is told here in a way that is afffecting, respectful and completely compelling. The authors cover the history of the original expedition and rescue expeditions and the horrible half-facts and hints of starvation, terror and cannibalism they uncovered and moves through history to the efforts of the modern amateur-detectives who finally solved the mystery and found it to be as awful and ironic as any novelist could have imagined. Not just for those with an interest in arctic exploration or the secrets of the dead, but for anyone with an interest mankind or the past.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History brought up to Date, 8 Feb 2007
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The people involved in seeking out and attempting to complete the North West Passage have a truly amazing tale to tell. The first part of this book does that extremely well -- covering many of the other expeditions of 1800s to put the Franklin Expedition into context. It is unraveling the fate of this expedition that is the aim of this book.

Against these tales of exceptional daring, fortitude hardship and endurance, the second half of the book seems a bit tame. It covers the expeditions to discover, exhume and conduct post-mortems on the only known human remains from the expedition. The science and conclusions reached are very interesting although (given modern technology)it all went rather smoothly and attemtps to create tension largely fell flat with me.

Net -- full of fascinating insights
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Franklin exposed, 7 Jun 2012
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This book is definitely a must read for those interested in the fate of the Franklin expedition. The theory that the men suffered from lead poisoning is fascinating and gives a whole new perspective on the history of British seafaring in the 19th century. For anyone interested in the Age of Discovery, it's an absolute necessity. Plus, the authors' investigations on Beechey Island were a wonderful introduction into forensic anthropology. For another great book on this subject read Robert K. Massies's The Romanovs: The Final Chapter.
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I liked that the authors' included the touching letter of Sarah Hartnell to her sons. Somehow this makes the men so much more real. You realize even more that they were sons and brothers, real people who mattered to others, not just scientific discoveries. It is particularly poignant that a great-great nephew of Hartnell would be there to witness his exhumation and "be able to experience that which no other man has: to look into the eyes of a relative who has been dead for more than a century."

However, I would warn readers that the authors sometimes drag the story out with needless details. There is lots of description of the teams' day to day activities on the Island, which have no bearing on the discoveries at hand. Many times they overly describe their research activities with completely unnecessary minutae. This often takes away from the narrative and can be a bit tedious to read. For this, I would give it only three stars. All in all, however, "Frozen in Time" is an important book and definitely recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking past revealed, 12 Nov 2010
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'Frozen in Time' is a beautifully written account of the various attempts to seek evidence revealing the fate of the 130 men under the leadership of Sir John Franklin who set out in 1845 to discover the North-West passage, and who disappeared into apparent oblivion. But more than that, it tells of the detailed exhumation in 1984 and 1986 of three graves on Beechey Island, where lay the bodies of young men who died early on in the voyage.

The book has everything - early drawings - old daguerreotype photos - detailed maps and modern colour photographs. It is a spell-binding read, not only making the science come alive but also describing in vivid terms the lives of those who, for whatever reason, set sail almost two centuries ago, into the unknown. At the end, I felt I knew the three young men whose images were slowly revealed as Beattie and his team laboriously removed layers of frozen rock and soil to discover the coffins and ultimately the preserved faces of yesteryear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 30 Sep 2009
By 
Dawn Hardy "Zeebeez" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I have loved this book since i was a little girl (i'm 30 now!!) My dad has always been into the discovry channel and Egypt and things like that and he got this book as a present for Christmas and went nuts for it. I think i was intrigued by the pictures in the book as i had never seen anything like it and that made me want to read the book to find out the story behind the pictures.
I would definately reccomend this book to anyone who has a general interest in documentaries or history. My Dad lost his book so i'm pleased i found it again. I will be getting him a copy for Christmas '09. If you can find the documentary that goes with it you are onto a winner.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Most interesting, 11 Jan 2014
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Well written and informative . Recommended for general study for readers of North or South Arctic exploration. well detailed and fascinating factually.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Frozen in Time, 17 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition (Kindle Edition)
Part of our nations history and an example of The "Guts" And Determination reqd for artic exploration in those long off days
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 4 July 2013
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I read this in one sitting as I found the whole subject fascinating. The most interesting part for me was the first half of the book and the discussion on previous explorers and their attempts to navigate the North West Passage. It is a haunting and mesmerising book and I would definitely recommend it.
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