Icebound In The Arctic

The Mystery of Captain Francis Crozier and the Franklin Expedition

Michael Smith

Two newly discovered ships which sank in the Arctic ice 170 years ago may hold clues to the fate of explorer, Captain Francis Crozier, who led the doomed Franklin expedition's fight for survival. Updated biography with new chapters, maps and photographs.
Date Published :
July 2021
Publisher :
The O'Brien Press
Illustration :
60 Halftones, black and white; 5 Maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781788492324
Pages : 308
Dimensions : 8.9 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


Captain Francis Crozier was a major figure in 19th century Arctic and Antarctic exploration who led the doomed Franklin Expedition’s battle to survive against the odds. It is a compelling story which refuses to be laid to rest and recent discovery of his lost ships above the Arctic Circle gives it a new urgency.  

The ships may hold vital clues to how two navy vessels and 129 men disappeared 170 years ago and why Crozier, in command after Franklin’s early death, left the only written clue to the biggest disaster in Polar history.

Drawn from historic records and modern revelations, this is the only comprehensive account of Crozier’s extraordinary life. It is a tale of a great explorer, a lost love affair and an enduring mystery.  

Crozier’s epic story began comfortably in Banbridge, Co Down and involved six gruelling expeditions on three of the 19th century’s great endeavours – navigating the North West Passage, reaching the North Pole and mapping Antarctica. But it ended in disaster.

About The Author

Michael Smith was a political and business journalist for over thirty years with The Guardian, The Observer and The Evening Standard. He has written two other books on polar exploration - An Unsung Hero and I'm Am Just Going Outside. He lives in London.


Notes page 9

Introduction: Pointing the Way 11

1 A Bond with History 17

2 To the Arctic 27

3 Seizing the Moment 43

4 A Promise 51

5 Fatal Errors 63

6 Wreck of Fury 70

7 North Pole 79

8 Arctic Rescue 89

9 South 99

10 Flirting with Love 107

11 An Epic Voyage 121

12 Dangerous Waters 133

13 Trembling Hands 145

14 ‘I Am Not Equal to the Hardship’ 157

15 A Sense of Tragedy 172

16 North West Passage 185

17 Ice 197

18 ‘No Cause for Alarm’ 207

19 Breakout 220

20 A Slow Execution 225

21 Unsolved Mystery 235

22 Last Man Standing? 258

23 A Fitting Memorial 263

24 Lost and Found 273

Appendix: Francis Crozier: A Chronology 287

References 289

Bibliography 295

Index 304

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