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Academic & Professional Books  Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel

Unravelling the Franklin Mystery Inuit Testimony

By: David C Woodman(Author)
390 pages, 8 b/w photos, 4 b/w illustrations, 8 b/w maps, 2 tables
Unravelling the Franklin Mystery
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  • Unravelling the Franklin Mystery ISBN: 9780773545410 Edition: 2 Paperback Mar 2015 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
Price: £25.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

David Woodman's classic reconstruction of the mysterious events surrounding the tragic Franklin expedition has taken on new importance in light of the recent discovery of the HMS Erebus wreck, the ship Sir John Franklin sailed on during his doomed 1845 quest to find the Northwest Passage to Asia.

First published in hardback in 1991, Unravelling the Franklin Mystery boldly challenged standard interpretations and offered a new and compelling alternative. Among the many who have tried to discover the truth behind the Franklin disaster, Woodman was the first to recognize the profound importance of Inuit oral testimony and to analyze it in depth. From his investigations, Woodman concluded that the Inuit likely visited Franklin's ships while the crew was still on board and that there were some Inuit who actually saw the sinking of one of the ships. Much of the Inuit testimony presented here had never before been published, and it provided Woodman with the pivotal clue in his reconstruction of the puzzle of the Franklin disaster.

Unravelling the Franklin Mystery is a compelling and impressive inquiry into a part of Canadian history that for one hundred and seventy years left many questions unanswered. In this second edition, a new preface by the author addresses the recent discovery and reviews the work done in the intervening years on various aspects of the Franklin story, by Woodman and others, as it applies to the book's initial premise of the book that Inuit testimony holds the key to unlocking the mystery.


List of Maps, Figures, and Tables ix
Author’s Note xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Preface to the Second Edition: Revisiting the Franklin Mystery xv
Illustrations follow page xxiv
Introduction 3

Part One: The Evidence
1 First Contact 11
2 The Investigation 23
3 The Witnesses 37
4 Omanek and Adam Beck 56
5 Poctes Bay 69
6 A Season of Search 83
7 Crozier’s Choice 98
8 Victory Point 110

Part Two: The Testimony
9 Incident at Teekeenu 123
10 Nuvertaro 139
11 Toonoonee 152
12 Keeuna 163
13 Pooyetta’s Search 180
14 Toolooa and Aglooka 194
15 Toolooark’s Ships 209
16 “Then Aglooka Was the Eshemuta” 227
17 Aglooka’s Ship 248
18 Keeweewoo 262
19 The Trail to Shartoo 270
20 In-nook-poo-zhe-jook’s Boats 291
21 Too-shoo-art-thariu 305
22 The Verdict 319

1 Erebus and Terror Crew List 327
2 Inuit Place Names 331
3 Principal Witnesses 334
4 Lead Poisoning 336
5 Glossary of Terms 339

Notes 341
Bibliography 367
Index 383

Customer Reviews


David C. Woodman is a senior master for BC Ferries and lives in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia.

By: David C Woodman(Author)
390 pages, 8 b/w photos, 4 b/w illustrations, 8 b/w maps, 2 tables
Media reviews

"Undoubtedly the most authoritative, cool-headed and thrilling investigation so far."
London Observer

"Woodman has examined all the documentation on Inuit testimony with relentless thoroughness. He has made a vitally important, long overdue contribution [...] It is a book anyone obsessed with Franklin will want to have."
Toronto Star

"Compelling reading [...] On a warm week at an Ontario lakefront cottage, I sat inside turning unwieldy page proofs [...] and could not stop."
Books in Canada

"Woodman is [...] an indefatigable and creative researcher, and gifted in the ability to convey dauntless enthusiasm for the obscure hieroglyphs that Franklin's history left us in its wake."
– John Moss, Arctic Circle

"Woodman's book will be invaluable [...] to those who can't get enough on the Franklin mystery."
Montreal Gazette

"Brilliant [...] a joy to read [...] It unfolds slowly like a good detective story [...] The time is ripe for a fresh, new, original book about John Franklin. This is it."
– C. Stuart Houston, Department of Medical Imaging, University of Saskatchewan

"Woodman has done an excellent job of gathering Inuit testimony and presents a new emphasis which allows new interpre-tations and conclusions with regard to the Franklin epic."
– Dorothy Harley Eber, author of When the Whalers Were Up North

"Woodman is [...] an indefatigable and creative researcher, and gifted in the ability to convey dauntless enthusiasm for the obscure hieroglyphs that Franklin's history left us in its wake."
Arctic Circle

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