p. 103, on Parry’s 1819-20 expedition: A school was formed to teach the men to read and write. Captain Sabine edited a weekly, the North Georgia Gazette and Winter Chronicle, for the amusement of the officers, and they in turn amused the men. Fortnightly a farce that had had a successful run in London was given. Christmas was celebrated by a special dinner and an operetta, Northwest Passage. [A facsimile page of the gazette is on p. 102.]
p. 142, on William Penny’s shipsLady Franklin and Sophia on the Franklin search in 1850, wintering on Cornwallis Island: The ships were dry; the men could bathe, wash their clothes, and exercise in any weather. They were kept amused; there was a theater where plays were given every two weeks, announced by playbills; the Aurora and the Illustrated Arctic News appeared monthly; and a school was started, with classes for the men.
p. 160, McClintock learns from natives the fate of Franklin expedition: he met some natives from whom he bought many more relics—silver spoons and plates—and learned that though there had been many books in the wreck, they had all been destroyed by the weather; that the survivors had made for the Great Fish River, falling and dying as they went along.
p. 180, on the discovery of Franz Josef Land in 1874 by Payer and Weyprecht, quoting Payer: A time of ennui. Happy the man who has any tobacco, happy he who, after smoking, does not fall into a faint; happy too the man who finds a fragment of a newspaper in some corner or other…, but happiest of all are those who can sleep day and night. [See Payer, Julius von. New Lands within the Arctic Circle. London, 1876.]
p. 203, on Nansen’s Fram in 1893: The Framsjaa, a newspaper, was issued under the inventive and amusing editorship of the doctor, with illustrated supplements on special days.