Memoirs of Lieutenant Joseph René Bellot, with his Journal of a Voyage in the Polar Seas in Search of Sir John Franklin
Joseph René Bellot (1826-53) was a French naval officer whose travels took him from Africa to the Arctic before his tragic death at the age of 27. In 1851 he joined a British expedition to search for the missing explorer Sir John Franklin (1786-1847), whose expedition to find the North-West Passage was last heard of in July 1845. Although the voyage was unsuccessful in its search, it explored previously unknown areas of the Arctic. Bellot kept extensive notes about his journey in this remote region; they originally appeared in French in 1854 and were translated into English in 1855 and published in two volumes. Volume 1 contains a biography of Bellot, who was regarded as a hero in both France and Britain, and the first part of his journal, which describes the ship's departure from Scotland, their arrival in Greenland and their encounters with the indigenous people there.