Ever since reading a novel which has been loosely based on the infamous Franklin expedition, I have been fascinated by the efforts of exploring the Arctic.
In the Kingdom of Ice tells the story of George de Long and his crew and their attempt to reach the Northpole by means of a steamship, the U.S.S Jeanette. Common assumptions by scholars and scientists back then was that the Arctic is one open polar sea and the only thing that has to be achived is to plow through an ice belt to reach this warm stretch of water. Right from the onset of the expedition the whole thing was doomed to fail.
Once the Jeanette hit the Arctic I haven´t been able to put this book down. It´s one of these non-fiction books that keeps you turning the pages simply because you have to know what is going to happen next. I feel a great amount of respect for these explorers, fighting against impossible odds and relying on the expertise of other people, just to fill the blank spaces on a map. I didn´t know a single thing about this expedition before starting this book and I surpressed the temptation to google the major key players and their fates. And I´m really glad I did this, because knowing beforehand would have lessen my reading experience.
If you are interested in the Arctic or in gripping tales of exploration I can highly recommend this book.