​The recent discovery of Sir John Franklin's remarkably preserved ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, has opened an exciting new phase in the search for answers to what went so horribly wrong and why all 129 men on board the ships died. An essential piece of understanding the Franklin disaster is understanding the man who led it.

Franklin was famous long before he set off for the Northwest Passage in 1845. He had fought at Copenhagen and Trafalgar, led two overland expeditions, which had mapped large stretches of the Arctic coast of mainland Canada, and governed Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania). His ships were well run and he was loved by the officers and crew who served under him. 

This concise biography gives the reader all they need to know to appreciate and understand the man who led the worst disaster in British exploration history and created a mystery that has spawned a 170 year old mystery that continues to fascinate today. (Age 16 to adult)

"This book, admirable in its succinctness…is the best life of Franklin yet produced…there could be no better introduction to the life and journeys of Franklin than Wilson's…wonderfully engaging book." Russell Potter, Artcic Book Review

An "…excellent overview, the reader is left with an appreciation of the enormous task early exploration of the Arctic represented…a first rate story and a very useful addition to our understanding and appreciation of an important and unique segment of Canadian history. Highly Recommended." CM Magazine.
​As a young man, Norman Bethune served as a stretcher-bearer in the First World War. The experience left him with the dedication and passion to lead crusades to find a cure for tuberculosis, to introduce universal health care in Canada, and to introduce mobile blood transfusion units to save wounded soldier's lives on the battlefield. He served with the Republican armies during the Spanish Civil War and in China where he died of blood poisoning in 1939

Because of his left wing politics, Bethune was ignored for decades in his home country. His childhood home in Gravenhurst, Ontario sees large numbers of visitors each year, although a majority are tourists from China where he is revered as hero for his work with Mao's army in it's struggle against the Japanese. Regardless of politics, Bethune deserves to be more highly regarded everywhere for his lifelong struggle against injustice and suffering wherever he encoutered it. (Age 16 to adult).

"I couldn't put the Bethune story down…It is an inspirational tale as well as a historically important one." Times-Colonist

"…John Wilson makes the private man come alive…[a] gripping story of a larger-than-life Canadian hero." Quill & Quire
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