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John Rae, Arctic Explorer

The Unfinished Autobiography

John Rae
Edited and with an Introduction by William Barr

Canadian Studies, Biography

Hardback
Published: December 2018
ISBN: 9781772123326
Pages: 800 Size: 7.5x10
Illustrations: 8 B&W images, 4 maps, notes, bibliography, appendices, index

John Rae is best known today as the first European to reveal the fate of the Franklin Expedition, yet the range of Rae’s accomplishments is much greater. Over five expeditions, Rae mapped some 1,550 miles (1,850 kilometres) of Arctic coastline; he is undoubtedly one of the Arctic’s greatest explorers, yet today his significance is all but lost. John Rae, Arctic Explorer is an annotated version of Rae’s unfinished autobiography. William Barr has extended Rae’s previously unpublished manuscript and completed his story based on Rae’s reports and correspondence—including reaction to his revelations about the Franklin Expedition. Barr’s meticulously researched, long overdue presentation of Rae’s life and legacy is an immensely valuable addition to the literature of Arctic exploration.

John Rae (1813–1893) was an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company who explored substantial sections of the north coast of North America, and was the first to reveal the fate of the Franklin expedition.

William Barr has researched the history of exploration of the polar regions for over 40 years. He has published 23 books, including edited translations from French, German, and Russian. He lives in Calgary, Alberta.