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The Voyage of the Narwhal Hardcover – 1 March 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher : Flamingo (1 March 1999)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0002257939
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0002257930
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 35 ratings

Product description

From the Back Cover

The North Pole is magnetic. The uniqueness, the very weirdness of the wildlife that inhabits the Arctic has always fascinated the intrepid, those given to wonder, and those in search of glory.

Many a Victorian voyager was mesmerized northwards and the naturalist Erasmus Darwin Wells is one such. He is drawn to partake in an expedition led by Zeke Voorhees, an ebullient and ambitious young man, whose inherent magnetism gathers to him a ship's crew as varied and as intriguing as the polar flora and fauna Wells and his companion in natural history, Dr Boerhaave, are so keen to observe. Voorhees sets his ship's course in the wake of Sir John Franklin's infamous lost expedition in search of a Northwest Passage, but veers off on the trail of an Open Polar Sea, and the 'Narwhal' soon runs into difficulties all its own. Meanwhile, back home in an America humming with new ideas, all is frustration for women the brave explorers leave behind. Lavinia, Erasmus's sister, is lost, rudderless, without Zeke, the love of her life. Piloting this beleaguered companion of hers and stuck in a lull not to her liking is the brilliant but unsung Alexandra. When the mensfolk hobble home at last, carrying severe losses, all is flux – those who live by observing must now be observed, and those who live by exploring must now be discovered, with the aid of some Esquimaux wisdom. While the last remote corners of the globe are mapped, and the descent of man and the origin of species is being revealed, a group of men and women finds that truth and glory come only to those who are brave enough not to stand alone.

In this terrific tale of high endeavour and polar peril in the frozen north, and of the greater dangers that lie in wait for the unwary in the seeming tranquillity and order of civilization, Andrea Barrett shows through the unfolding lives and evolving understanding of a handful of flawed but compelling individuals how a new way of looking at the world – its distant origins, its present difficulties – cracked and roared into being a century ago to usher in our very own era of icy knowledge.

About the Author

Andrea Barrett lives in upstate New York. This is her fifth book, but her first to be published in the British Commonwealth.

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paperback reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book, which epitomises so many problems
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 September 2016
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nistercinder
5.0 out of 5 stars together with ship fever
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 August 2013
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Mallory C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Barrett does it again!
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karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good historical fiction
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jane arc
3.0 out of 5 stars Sappy, diffuse, soap-adventure-opera.
Reviewed in the United States on 14 June 2000
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