Buy Used
£0.01
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Barrow's Boys Paperback – 22 Aug 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
£54.80 £0.01
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; New edition edition (22 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862075026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862075023
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.6 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

There's something about the overwhelming emptiness and terrifying beauty of the polar regions that never fails to attract. They are the most powerful symbols we have left of a world where human-made laws and values count for nothing; no one conquers the frozen wastelands-- they merely learn to live by the rules nature dictates. It is easy to see how for a long time the lives of the polar explorers were shrouded in quasi-mystical and heroic terms. This all changed in the 1970s with the publication of Roland Huntford's magnificent biography, Scott and Amundsen, in which he systematically and methodically revealed the levels of incompetence and arrogance with which Scott's expedition was riddled.

In Barrow's Boys Fergus Fleming takes us on an incisive and witty journey through the landmark years of British exploration from 1816-1850, marvelling at both the bravery and the stupidity involved. Fleming is a historian first and foremost, so he begins by placing exploration in its context. It wasn't some high-minded idealism or wacky sense of adventure, as is often suggested, that placed Britain at the forefront of discovery, but economics and self-interest. At the end of the Napoleonic wars, the British Navy was too large for its peacetime needs. Officers were laid off and advancement was slow, so the Navy needed to find itself a role. Charting the unmapped areas of the world seemed as good an idea as any.

Step forward John Barrow. Barrow was only the Second Secretary at the Admiralty--not normally a position of great influence--yet he was a skilled politician, and he managed to carve out a niche for himself by organising expedition after expedition. He started inauspiciously by sending Captain James Tuckey off on an ill-fated jaunt up the Congo in search of Timbucktoo, which was then imagined as some African El Dorado, and he ended in failure with the loss of Franklin's expedition to find the North West Passage. In between he courted triumph and tragedy; Ross discovered Antarctica, Parry opened up the Arctic with his attempt on the Pole, and Captain Bremer failed to establish northern Australia as the new Singapore.

Fleming has a great feel for the telling detail. He doesn't get lost in endless minutiae that distract from the narrative, but he never fails to remind us of the surrealism of British 19th-century exploration--cocked hats and reindeer-drawn sledges in the Arctic, frock coats in the Sahara. When put like this, it makes it all too easy to see how Scott could have been allowed to have botch his journey to the South Pole quite so catastrophically. --John Crace --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

‘A remarkable story, engagingly and knowledgeably told’ -- Good Book Guide

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Fergus Fleming's book is a prodigiously researched and scholarly account of the wide range of expeditions undertaken by an equally diverse number of explorers sent out by John Barrow during the period of his secretaryship at the Admiralty from 1816 to 1845.
Along the way you will be astounded at the extent of human endurance and suffering and by the insight into the leader's characters, as well as the quantity and quality of detail for each and every trip. You will learn more about human nature in this one volume expounding Barrow's questing, than from a whole barrow-load of Bibles and Korans.
Buy it, read it and be enthralled and awed by the experiences of these intrepid men and their tireless searching.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Having just finished this excellent book I thought I would add my praise to those already on file. The book covers not only the exploits of the explorers but lets us into some of the incredible machinations and double dealing that went on in the backrooms. One points of criticism though, the maps are not adequate, they were jumbled and confusing and there were not enough of them, the publishers fault I suspect. One thing I particularly liked was the follow-up section where we learn something of what happened to the characters outside the constraints of the story. It completes the picture. I highly recommend this book.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A book which proves the English are completely mad. A collection of chaotic attempts in the first half of the eighteenth century to complete the NW passage, get to the North/South Pole, and explore Africa - some explorations were extremely good, some totally insane. Highly recommended.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a companion book to the author's Ninety Degrees North, which focuses exclusively on Arctic exploration in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries. This book covers exploration in the Arctic, Antarctic and Africa in the first half of the 19th century, centred around those explorations sent out by the Second Secretary to the Admiralty, the very wilful and determined Sir John Barrow. These expeditions were largely to the Arctic, which I found the most interesting destination, and indeed the digressions to Africa rather jarred for me, though they petered out half way through the book (they would no doubt have fitted much better in a book devoted to the important topic of African exploration). The early visits to the then almost entirely unknown Antarctic were very intriguing and one can share their wonder at perceiving for the first time the massive Ross Ice Shelf and the volcano Erebus. Overall, what struck me in particular was the sheer amateurishness of so many of the early efforts, carried out in a death or glory frame of mind, sometimes ignoring the fact that the explorer in question might have had no previous marine experience, have a dislike for cold weather (or hot weather in the case of going to Africa), or a lack of leadership skills. This even applied to explorers who became very prominent such as Sir John Franklin, the mysterious disappearance of whose last expedition in the 1840s, and the numerous attempts at rescue, offer an eerie few chapters near the end of the book. Another feature that is prominent throughout is the sheer brutal length and misery of the Arctic winter that appears to last from about September to July, and the fact that many crews overwintered for a number of years in succession and might move very little distance in the interim. They had tremendous courage and stamina, whatever else one might say about some of the mistakes and casual attitudes towards life and health that form prominent features of this fascinating saga.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating and enjoyable account of a number of brave men, sent to the furthermost points of the world to fill in the blank spots on the British Navy's globe. John Barrow, Second Secretary to the Admiralty sent a number of expeditions to find the source of the Niger River, to locate and traverse the North-West Passage, to locate Magnetic North, to find out what was actually at the Antarctic.
There are some great adventure stories here, of brave men, blundering fools and gentle heroes. Travel the Sahara on a camel or with a slave convoy, drag boats and sleds across ice flows in the Arctic whilst on half rations or travel across the Canadian wilderness whilst near death from starvation. Experience the affects of scurvy and hunger whilst trapped in a wooden ship with massive icebergs slowly crushing the frame.
Read about the majestic sights seen by these intrepid travelers, pink ice, the aurora borealis and the aurora australis, Eskimo's and polar bears. Read about the tragic end to a number of these expeditions and the fate of many of the ship's crews, most notably John Franklin's 1845 expedition in the 'Erebus' and 'Terror' to find the North-West Passage.
This is a great book, the narrative flows along like a well-written novel. At times I found it hard to put the book down, reading late into the morning trying to finish a chapter. I must admit that I have no previous expertise in this field other than having read "Ice Blink" but I found the story well presented and believe that the author has done his research. This is an easy and enjoyable book to read and I think anyone who loves a good adventure story will certainly enjoy this account.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 8 April 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a book that I can heavily recommend to any interested in exploration or in stories of derring-do. Proof that the supposedly mythical upper-lip mentality of the empire building Brit pioneers really does have a basis in reality. The highpoint has to be Franklin's disastrous overland trek through the Canadian waste that ends with a novel and questionable method for survival; eating your own boots. Five stars and worth them all.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback