After the triumphant end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the
British took it upon themselves to complete something they had been
trying to do since the sixteenth century: find the fabled Northwest
Passage. For the next thirty-five years the British Admiralty sent
out expedition after expedition to probe the ice-bound waters of
the Canadian Arctic in search of a route, and then, after 1845, to
find Sir John Franklin, the Royal Navy hero who led the last of
these Admiralty expeditions. Enthralling and often harrowing, "The
Man Who Ate His Boots "captures the glory and the folly of this
ultimately tragic enterprise.
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