A fascinating Sunday story by Leanne Shapton in the New York Times Magazine about the mysterious end of the 1845 Franklin expedition to the Arctic: “Artifacts of a Doomed Expedition”.
The contemporary Franklin narrative continues to dismiss Inuit testimony, as Dickens did. A 2014 BBC News article, a 2015 Nova documentary and the National Maritime Museum website, as of today, claim that Franklin was last seen off the coast of Baffin Island. The authors neglect to add: by white people. The crew members were seen alive, over the course of a few years, by the Inuit. Then they were seen dead.
On one of the hottest days of the summer, I meet the ‘‘Frozen in Time’’ author John Geiger in a Toronto restaurant. He is now C.E.O. of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Over Arctic char, he recommends books about Inuit testimony of their sightings of Franklin’s men, telling me, ‘‘The Inuit had always known where one of the boats sank — their oral history is incredibly accurate.’’
Honestly, if you name your ships Erebus and Terror, I sort of think you’re asking for trouble.