The Discovery of the North-West Passage by HMS Investigator, 1850, 1851, 1852, 1853, 1854
By the middle of the nineteenth century, the North-West Passage, a trade route from the Atlantic to the Pacific, had been sought for centuries without success. The Franklin expedition of 1845 became the latest victim, and Irish naval officer Sir Robert John Le Mesurier McClure (1807–73) took part in the attempts to ascertain its fate. His ship, H.M.S. Investigator, spent the years 1850–4 in the Arctic, and in the course of their search for the lost expedition, the crew discovered the North-West Passage. Upon his return to England, following the loss of the Investigator to pack ice, McClure handed over his journals to author and fellow officer Sherard Osborn (1822–75), who prepared this narrative of the pioneering expedition. First published in 1856, the work remains a compelling account of Arctic exploration, revealing how McClure and his men survived four forbidding winters.