Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage
Glyn Williams, Sophia Costley
The elusive dream of locating the Northwest Passagean ocean route over the top of North America that promised a shortcut to the fabulous wealth of Asiaobsessed explorers for centuries. While global warming has brought several such routes into existence, until recently these channels were hopelessly choked by impassible ice. Voyagers faced unimaginable horrorsentire ships crushed, mass starvation, disabling frostbite, even cannibalismin pursuit of a futile goal. In Arctic Labyrinth, Glyn Williams charts the entire sweep of this extraordinary history, from the tiny, woefully equipped vessels of the first Tudor expeditions to the twentieth-century ventures that finally opened the Passage. Williams’s thrilling narrative delves into private letters and journals to expose the gritty reality behind the often self-serving accounts of those in charge. An important work of maritime history and explorationand as exciting a tale of heroism and fortitude as readers will findArctic Labyrinth is also a remarkable study in human delusion.
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