Guide James Fitzjames: The Mystery Man of the Franklin Expedition

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  2. James Fitzjames: The Mystery Man of the Franklin Expedition, by William Battersby | Barr | ARCTIC
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Well worth reading for any enthusiast of tales of tragically miscalculated exploration. Mar 31, J.

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Jay rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This is a fascinating read about an adventurer few have heard of. Battersby makes Fitzjames come alive, so that we feel as if we're there when Fitzjames sets up his practical jokes, or bats swarms of mosquitoes on the river in Iraq. It's amazing what he and his comrades went through during the Euphrates Expedition, and surviving this, it's crazy that he went on to volunteer for and organize the Franklin Expedition, which of course took Fitzjames's life.

Well written, interesting and full of info This is a fascinating read about an adventurer few have heard of.

James Fitzjames: The Mystery Man of the Franklin Expedition, by William Battersby | Barr | ARCTIC

Well written, interesting and full of information about the early 19th century, this is a great book that I truly enjoyed. Jun 28, Clarissa rated it really liked it. Absolutely loved this book. It was such a joy reading about an very interesting man and his search for an identity.

The writer wrote his story so well,feels very personal and the writer clearly admires James Fitzjames. I will admit I did fall in love with Fitzjames. Best not to say - I wrote it Rina Iosad rated it really liked it May 29, Cheryl Greer rated it really liked it Sep 19, Karin Kross rated it really liked it Jul 16, John rated it liked it Sep 30, Kelly MacDonald rated it it was amazing Jun 25, Laura Jordan rated it really liked it Jul 14, Lee rated it really liked it Apr 10, I think this subject: In many ways it is similar to the subject of gallantry in war, but it is somehow more uplifting.

Tuesday, August 10, James Fitzjames: The Mystery Man of the Franklin Expedition.

James Fitzjames

With the publication of this book, we now have full biographies of all of the chief officers of Sir John Franklin's final Arctic expedition of Franklin himself, of course, is a man of evidently endless fascination; Francis Crozier, his second-in-command, makes up in fortitude what he apparently lacked in charm, and has been seen by some as the " Last Man Standing. His lively letters sent home via the last port-of-call in Greenland, his gallant good looks available in two different daguerreotype images , and his boundless enthusiasm "I hope that we are forced to stay at least one winter in the ice," as memorably voiced by Thom Fell in 's Search for the Northwest Passage , are all part of his attraction.

Revealed - Franklin's Lost Expedition (2005)

Indeed, he is the only figure from the expedition other than Franklin himself to have inspired a novel John Wilson's North With Franklin: The Lost Journals of James Fitzjames , But who was this man? By all accounts, a spirited young fellow, with a heroic rescue and a dogged expedition in the Middle East to his credit, but no Arctic experience at all. His service and promotion?

Well, there are a few blanks here and there. Ahem, may we have another question, please? And yet, as William Battersby shows us in this engaging and well-researched volume, his life up until the moment of his departure for the North is recoverable in a remarkable degree of detail. Except, as it happens, with the matter of his parentage.

Not wanting to disclose any trade secrets here, I will simply say that Battersby's solution to this longstanding mystery is, I believe, the correct one, although it is in part a very close conjecture. And yet, though deprived of the privileges he might have had as a legitimate heir, Fitzjames in fact enjoyed in his relations precisely the kind of deep and satisfying intimacies which were so often lacking from natural parents in this era.

His foster parents, Robert and Louisa Coningham, raised him with the same kindness and affection with which they did their own son, William, whom Fitzjames referred to as "Willie.

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And yet, despite their closeness, the destinies of William Coningham and James Fitzjames could hardy have been more different. Coningham, through inheritance, became by degrees a wealthier and wealthier man, while Fitzjames, who first volunteered for the Royal Navy at the age of twelve, had always to seek new assignments, and promotion, by the skin of his teeth.


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For although his upbringing was a very good one, he lacked the sort of "friends" that were usually required for Naval advancement, particularly in times of peace. But Fitzjames was not what he seemed.


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He concealed several secrets, including the scandal of his birth, the source of his influence and his plans for what to do after the Franklin Expedition. William Battersby strips away years of misinformation and half-truths to enable us to understand Fitzjames and his significance to the Franklin Expedition for the first time.