Search for the Northwest Passage with Anthony Brandt
Anthony Brandt, editor of the National Geographic Adventure series and author of The Man Who Ate His Boots: The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage, will be the speaker at the 10 October, Second Sunday lecture for the New London County Historical Society. Brandt’s book, published earlier this year, is a spell-binding read of the 19th-century search for a Northwest Passage from Europe to the Pacific.
The search for the fabled Northwest Passage was primarily carried out by the British Navy in the period following the Napoleonic Wars at a time when they seemed to believe they were invincible. The discovery of an all-water route to the Pacific above Canada became a goal for nineteenth-century British explorers that was equivalent to the search for the Holy Grail. Today we know how futile that search was as the passage was non-existent because the waters north of Canada were essentially icebound all year long, at least at that time. That didn’t prevent a parade of British mariners from challenging the ice in that incredibly hostile environment.
This summer, a team of archaeologists from Parks Canada set out to find some of the explorers’ sunken […]