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The Arctic Fox – – Discoverer of the fate of Franklin

A new book by David Murphy looks at the life of Francis Leopold McClintock

The Shackleton of his day, Leopold McClintock (1819-1907) from County Louth was the best-known Arctic explorer of the Victorian era. He undertook four major voyages, epic sledge journeys and was first to bring definite information on the lost Franklin party.

Arctic Fox

The cover of Arctic Fox. Click for larger version.

This fascinating tale starts when he enlisted in 1831, not yet twelve years old. He began exploration in 1848 on the Enterprise expedition to the Arctic with Ross, the first in search of Franklin.

As a first lieutenant on the Assistance and Resolute expeditions, he made epic sledge journeys, over-wintered twice and discovered Prince Patrick Is.

At the request of Lady Franklin he commanded the Fox in 1857 to search for the Franklin party. By 1859, he found written records and human remains on King William Is. after eskimos told him of a shipwreck and survivors.

In 1859 he sailed home with the news that all members of the Franklin expedition perished. His account of the expedition became a bestseller.
His later naval career was a succession of promotions. After his death in 1907 a memorial plaque was unveiled at Westminster, portraits hung in the National Portrait Gallery in London and the McClintock Channel in the Arctic named after him.

About the author

David Murphy was born in Dublin and is a graduate of both University College, Dublin and Trinity College, Dublin. Since 1997 he has worked for the Dictionary of Irish Biography, specialising in military and naval figures and polar explorers. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and other prestigious societies and associations, his last book is the critically acclaimed Ireland and the Crimean War (Dublin, 2002). He was recently appointed visiting researcher at the Department of Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College, Dublin.

ISBN: 1-903464-58-7
Price: e25/£20

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All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
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