The ABC is today reporting that “the remains of one of two ships used by a former governor of Tasmania on a doomed Arctic mission in 1846 have been found….HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, led by Sir John Franklin, a former governor of Van Diemen’s Land, disappeared on a expedition to find the Northwest Passage, a sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the Arctic. Now Canada’s prime minister Stephen Harper has announced that the wreck of one of the ships has been found on the seabed.”
Parks Canada has published some wonderful sonar and underwater images.
Franklin’s wife, Lady Jane Franklin, was indefatigable in her search for the lost ship. Obviously she never found it but I dare say she’d be thrilled by these recent events. Her recent biography The Ambitions of Lady Jane Franklin won the 2014 Australian National Biography Award.
Update 25 September 2014: More information about the ship-finding expedition in this article in the New Yorker.
Isn’t it amazing how these things are suddenly located after long periods of time? (When will they find that Malaysian plane I wonder!) Anyhow, my first introduction to this story – at least the first one I remember – was in the 1990s or maybe very early 2000s via Andrea Barrett’s Voyage of the Narwhal, and then there was Richard Flanagan’s Wanting, and other books about the Franklins. I assume they are now going to try to bring it up?
I’m not sure whether they want to bring the ship up or not. I sort of hope they don’t. It’s a grave and bringing it up surely won’t tell us anything we don’t already know?
Good question … I don’t know if it will tell us more, but presumably having found it they can do any research in situ.
This day I read the novel of Sten Nadolny, Die entdeckung der Langsamket about the life of John Franklin. Amazing !!
Susan, welcome. And thanks for pointing me towards this book. A quick Google reveals the title in English is ‘The Discovery of Slowness’ and it sounds really interesting.