Fatal Passage

Fatal Passage

The true story of the remarkable John Rae - Arctic traveller and Hudson's Bay Company doctor - FATAL PASSAGE is a tale of imperial ambition and high adventure. In 1854 Rae solved the two great Arctic mysteries: the fate of the doomed Franklin expedition and the location of the last navigable link in the Northwest Passage. But Rae was to be denied the recognition he so richly deserved. On returning to London, he faced a campaign of denial and vilification led by two of the most powerful people in Victorian England: Lady Jane Franklin, the widow of the lost Sir John, and Charles Dickens, the most influential writer of the age. A remarkable story of courage and determination, FATAL PASSAGE is Ken McGoogan's passionate redemption of Rae's rightful place in history. In this richly documented and illustrated work, McGoogan captures the essence of one man's indomitable spirit.

Post-Empire Imaginaries?

Anglophone Literature, History, and the Demise of Empires

Post-Empire Imaginaries?

Barbara Buchenau and Virginia Richter’s Post-Empire Imaginaries? Anglophone Literature, History, and the Demise of Empires explores the legacies of different empires across various media, focusing on the spatial, temporal, and critical dimensions of what the editors term the post-empire imaginary.

John Walker's Passage

John Walker's Passage

John Walker is one of Canada's most prolific and important documentary filmmakers and is known for his many thoughtful, personally inflected films. His masterwork, Passage, centres on Sir John Franklin's failed expedition to find the final link of the Northwest Passage connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the Canadian Arctic. It also gives us the story of John Rae, the Scottish explorer who discovered the fate of Franklin and the final link in the passage, but was left to the margins of history. Walker's film brings to this story a layering of dramatic action and behind-the-scenes documentary footage that build tension between the story of the past and interpretations of the present. Darrell Varga provides a close analysis of Passage, situating it within Walker's rich body of work and the Canadian documentary tradition. Varga illuminates how the film can be viewed through the lens of Harold Innis's theories of communication and culture, opening up the work of this great Canadian political economist to film studies.

Arctic Exploration in the Nineteenth Century

Discovering the Northwest Passage

Arctic Exploration in the Nineteenth Century

Focusing on nineteenth-century attempts to locate the northwest passage, the essays in this volume present this quest as a central element of British culture.

Franklin's Passage

Franklin's Passage

Poems inspired by the fate of Franklin's search for the North-West Passage

John Rae's Arctic Correspondence, 1844-1855

John Rae's Arctic Correspondence, 1844-1855

Although Arctic explorer and Hudson Bay Company surveyor John Rae (1813-1893) travelled and recorded the final uncharted sections of the Northwest Passage, he is best known for his controversial discovery of the fate of the lost Franklin Expedition of 1845. Based on evidence given to him by local Inuit, Rae determined that Franklin's crew had resorted to cannibalism in their final, desperate days. Seen as maligning a national hero, Rae was shunned by British society. This collection of personal correspondence—reissued here for the first time since its original publication in 1953—illuminates the details of Rae's expeditions through his own words. The letters offer a glimpse into Rae's daily life, his ideas, musings, and troubles. Prefaced by the original, thorough introduction detailing his early life, John Rae's Arctic Correspondence is a crucial resource for any Arctic enthusiast. This new edition features a foreword by researcher and Arctic enthusiast Ken McGoogan, the award-winning author of eleven books, including Fatal Passage: The Untold Story of John Rae (HarperCollins, 2002).

Eclectic Magazine

Foreign Literature

Eclectic Magazine


The Arctic Journals of John Rae

The Arctic Journals of John Rae

Scottish doctor and explorer John Rae is a controversial figure in the history of the Arctic. He began his career with the Hudson's Bay Company as a surgeon in Moose Factory, Ontario, where he learned to survey, live off the land, and travel great distances on snowshoes. These skills served him well when, in 1846, he was charged with completing the geography of the northern shore of North America and set out on his first expedition. Some years later, while exploring the Boothia Peninsula in 1854, Rae obtained information about the rather shocking fate of the Franklin expedition, which had been missing since 1845. Upon his return to England, however, Rae was discredited by Charles Dickens and shunned by the British establishment, never receiving proper recognition for his roles in finding the Northwest Passage and discovering the fate of Franklin and his crew. The Arctic Journals of John Rae is the definitive collection of John Rae's writings, from his only published work, Narrative of an Expedition to the Shores of the Arctic Sea in 1846 and 1847, to obscure notes and journals and reports of his controversial findings in 1854. An accomplished explorer who had great respect for the customs and skills of the peoples native to the Arctic, John Rae is a fascinating figure and an important part of the history of the North.