Unravelling the Franklin Mystery

Unravelling the Franklin Mystery

Inuit Testimony

Book - 1991
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Woodman maintains that fewer than ten bodies were found at Starvation Cove and that the last survivors left the cove in 1851, three years after the standard account assumes them to be dead. Woodman also disputes the conclusion of Owen Beattie and John Geiger's book Frozen in Time that lead-poisoning was a major contributing cause of the disaster. Much of the Inuit testimony presented in Unravelling the Franklin Mystery has never before been published. The earliest Woodman quotes was recorded by Franklin searchers only nine years after the disappearance of the Franklin team. Inuit testimony provided Woodman with the pivotal clue in his re-construction of the puzzle of the Franklin disaster: I proceeded from the assumption that all Inuit stories concerning white men should have a discoverable factual basis ... [and] managed to discover a scenario which allowed use of all of the native recollections, solved some troubling discrepancies in the physical evidence, and led to some significant new conclusions as to the fate of the beleaguered sailors. Whether or not one agrees with Woodman's conclusions, his account is compelling and his analysis impressive.
Publisher: Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, c1991
ISBN: 9780773508330
Branch Call Number: 917.195041092 Frank -W 92cn 01
Characteristics: xiv, 399 p. : ill., maps


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Feb 14, 2015

For those who are puzzled why and how the Franklin expedition failed, I would rate this book at five stars. This book is an amazing work of research and analysis.

Other authors have proposed a Death March with sledges with lifeboats laden with luxury goods from Victory Point southward along the coast of King William Island in 1848. David C. Woodman proposes something completely different.

What is needed is an updated version of this book integrating the discoveries made since 1991 and better maps detailing the attempted escape routes of the Franklin expedition and the locations where Franklin relics have been found or reported.

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