Seek the Frozen Lands: Irish Polar Explorers 1740-1922

Review from Publishers Weekly

Seek the Frozen Lands: Irish Polar Explorers 1740-1922 by Frank Nugent (Collins Press, $39.95), is a lavishly illustrated history of the remarkable and largely unknown Irish adventurers who participated in numerous explorations of the polar regions.

The rich cast of characters includes navigators, cartographers, scientists, seamen, officers and explorers.

The saga begins in the 18th century with Arthur Dobbs, who strongly advocated a renewed search for the Northwest Passage. He was followed in 1820 by Edward Bransfield, who, while mapping the South Shetland Islands, made one of the first sightings of mainland Antarctica.

Nugent deftly covers the various explorers who continued to search for the elusive passage; the discovery of the Antarctic ice shelf; and the charting of the Ross Sea in 1841 by Ross and Crozier.

Drawing from previously unpublished material, photographs and interviews with descendents, Nugent writes grippingly of McClintock, McClure and Kellett as they find the skeletons of their countrymen scattered across the Canadian Arctic.

His story ends with Shackleton's burial in South Georgia in 1922.

"Seek the Frozen Lands recognizes those largely unknown and mostly forgotten collection of Irish heroes," writes Xenia Poole in The Irish World. "Some perished in their quests, others were deservedly acclaimed for their bravery or achieved scientific recognition. Altogether, they encapsulated true heroism, drama and tragedy."

The Collins Press
ISBN: 1 903464 24 2
Price: £20.00/€30.00