Novel about an American proposal to auction all territory north of the 84th parallel. The sale was to take place in Baltimore with all proceeds to be divided among underbidders. The English strongly opposed an American purchase, since “The North Pole belonged to them.” The plan itself was to turn the globe on its axis to melt the Pole and extract the coal, while changing the torrid zones as well; but the calculation of the equation to do it proved faulty and the earth was saved. The satire chiefly involves the French poking fun at the US for its North Pole obsession.
p. 23: The whole crew were Protestants, belonging to the same religious denomination. It was a matter of some importance that the men should think alike, as far as creed was concerned, to prevent party strife; for it has been always found in long voyages that assembling the men for reading the Scriptures and common prayer is a powerful means of promoting harmony, and of cheering them in times of despondency.
p. 31, of the crew, the surgeon, Dr. Clawbonny, is the intellectual with books, herbals, instruments, maps and charts all “arranged and classified with an amount of order that would have shamed the British Museum.”
p. 42-43—the Dr. had read all the relevant narratives of Parry, Ross, and Franklin, etc.
p. 45 shows a print of someone in cabin reading, probably the Bible.
p. 46: It was Sunday…—so part of the forenoon was spent in Bible reading, the Doctor undertaking the office of chaplain.
p. 85, the doctor stayed in his cabin to: devote himself to the reperusal of his volumes of Arctic voyages. [cf. Scott, Peary, and others.]
p. 130, the Captain is revealed to be one of the seamen, formerly called Gary but now Captain Hatteras; If ever human foot shall tread on polar ground, it must be the foot of an Englishman.
p. 207, gives an account of the death of Bellot on 18 Aug 1853: He tied his books together, and said he would go out and see how we were drifting. Then apparently he fell in a crevasse and drowned.
p. 265, on Jan 1 the Doctor was reading Sir Edward Belcher’s ‘Narrative of His Polar Expedition,’ referring to coal in the Queen’s Channel, 250 miles away, when they were out of fuel. Made a disastrous sledging trip to find the coal only to discover another ship ahead of them, The Porpoise. After one death Hatteras gives up the prospect, returning to the ship [etcetera].
The sequel is called “The field of ice.”