A Whaling Cruise to Baffin’s Bay and the Gulf of Boothia. And an Account of the Rescue of the Crew of the “Polaris.”.

Interesting book by Admiral Markham who had an extended Royal Navy career as well as serving the Royal Geographical Society as its long-time President. Surprisingly, I found little on reading here.

p. vi—Preface to new edition (same year) speaks of Markham’s pride in being selected for the (failed) Nares expedition. Admits to friendly rivalry with US after this quiet period of English exploration.

p. xxi, Intro. by Rear Admiral Sherard Osborn: Never was a fairer field open to English seamen and adventurers to reap high renown and to keep our country in the vanguard of geographical discovery…as we have been foremost in all that is great and glorious in so many other parts of the world.

p. 24: W e have the same meals to go through, generally the same description of food to eat, the same jokes by our skipper, and the same stories to listen to, enlivened occasionally by an Irish song, a recitation from Shakespeare, or a reading from Artemus Ward.

p. 73, May 29, 1874: It was past ten before [the sun’s] upper limb was out of sight, but such a short distance was it below the horizon that it was really only a matter of form that we had a candle lighted in the cabin, and when I retired to bed at mid- night there was sufficient light in my little cabin to read by.

Appendix p. 298-307 gives a substantial list of arguments for Arctic exploration.