The Third Franklin Expedition and its fate have been the focus of intense media and public fascination ever since its disappearance into the ice of the Arctic Archipelago in 1845. This interest has, if anything, intensified during the last half century – fuelled by the discovery of the wreck of the support ship Breadalbane in 1980, the exhumation of three of his crewmen from the permafrost in the following years.
As Franklin scholar Russell Potter wrote on his website Visions of the North:
“At last count there were no fewer than nine book-length poetic treatments between 1856 and 2005, two plays (including Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens’s The Frozen Deep in 1857), and 24 novels, ranging from Jules Verne’s The Adventures of Captain Hatteras in 1864 to Richard Flanagan’s Wanting, which is being published later this year. Essays by writers as diverse as George Eliot, Joseph Conrad, and Margaret Atwood, have tackled the Franklin fascination, and a full collection of all the historical studies, monographs, and illustrated books on the expedition would easily fill a room.”
Add to this the modern spike in interest caused by the discovery of Franklin’s two ships (2014 and 2016), as well as a popular television series based on the story (AMC’s The Terror – 2018).
This page serves as a portal into rare written, audio, and video web productions that help to flesh out the modern thought and work on this enduring mystery.