Arctic labyrinth : the quest for the Northwest Passage
The elusive dream of locating the Northwest Passage--an ocean route over the top of North America that promised a short cut to the fabulous wealth of Asia-obsessed explorers for centuries. While global warming has brought several such routes into existence, until recently these channels were hopelessly choked by impassable ice. Voyagers faced unimaginable horrors--entire ships crushed, mass starvation, disabling frostbite, even cannibalism--in pursuit of a futile goal. InArctic 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 exploration-and as exciting a tale of heroism and fortitude as readers will find-Arctic Labyrinthis also a remarkable study in human delusion.