In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette: Sides, Hampton
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In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

Author(s): Sides, Hampton

Copyright: 2014, US
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.xiii, 454, 26 bw photos, map, illus eps, white/grey cloth
Condition: dj & cloth new

In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: the North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans, although theories abounded. The foremost cartographer in the world, a German named August Petermann, believed that warm currents fed into a vast Open Polar Sea that sustained a verdant land at the top of the world. National glory would fall to whoever could plant his flag upon its shores.
James Gordon Bennett, Jr., the eccentric and stupendously wealthy owner of ‘The New York Herald’, had recently captured the world's attention by dispatching Stanley to Africa to find Dr. Livingstone. Now he was keen to re-create that sensation on an even more epic scale. He funded an official U.S. naval expedition to reach the Pole, choosing as its captain a young officer named George Washington De Long, who had gained fame for a rescue operation off the coast of Greenland.
On July 8, 1879, De Long bid his young wife goodbye, and the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of “Arctic Fever.” De Long led a team of 32 men - carrying the aspirations of a young country burning to become a world power - deep into uncharted Arctic waters.
After journeying north of the Bering Straits, they found themselves trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was fatally breached, and the Jeannette sank to the bottom pf the Arctic Ocean. The men found themselves marooned on the ice cape nearly a thousand miles north of Siberia with three open boats and only the barest supplies.
Thus began their long, fateful march across the frozen sea — an ordeal that ranks as one of the greatest struggles for survival in our history. Facing everything from snow blindness and frostbite to ferocious storms and bewildering labyrinths of ice, the expedition battled madness and starvation as they desperately strove for the Siberian coast.
Based on a wealth of unpublished correspondence and his own travels across the Siberian Arctic, Side’s epic narrative resurrects a classic American adventure story with all the twists and turns of a thriller. Here is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most unforgiving territory on Earth.


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