Playing Dead: A Contemplation Concerning the Arctic.

p. 21: Young Midshipman Robert Hood is unaccustomed to both the nightly ‘dismal serenade’ of the ‘cowardly, stupid and ravenous’ sled dogs and to the lazy winter lives of the traders, ‘few of [whom] have books, and the incidents of their lives do not furnish much subject for thought.’ Hood decides: ‘in such a state one might be disposed to envy the half year’s slumber of the bears.’

p. 25-26, from Richardson’s diary, Oct. 7, 1821: Through the extreme kindness and forethought of a lady, the party, previous to leaving London, had been furnished with a small collection of religious books, of which we still retained two or three of the most portable, and they proved of incalculable benefit to us. We read portions of them to each other as we lay in bed, in addition to the morning and evening service, and found that they inspired us on each perusal with so strong a sense of the omnipresence of a beneficent God. That our situation, even in these wilds, appeared no longer destitute; and we conversed, not only with calmness, but with cheerfulness, detailing with unrestrained confidence the pat events of our lives, and dwelling with hope on our future prospects. Had my poor friend been spared to revisit his native land, I should look back to this period with unalloyed delight.

One of their books is of course the Book of Common Prayer whose lectionary gives them their daily morning and evening readings….

p. 27: Besides the Bible, they read Edward Bickersteth’s A Scripture Help, and a prayer of the Princess Elizabeth of France, ‘which, amongst others, had been presented by a lady before the expedition left England…. [The prayer is strongly predestinarian.]

p. 86, quotes George Best on Frobisher’s men killing Inuits and their own suicides.