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Glorious failures

In 1845 Sir John Franklin left Britain in search for the Northwest passage. He never returned. Did his crew start eating each other or were they killed by the Inuit

The discovery of George Mallory’s body on Mount Everest failed to solve the mystery of whether he reached the summit. It will, however, encourage a small but growing band of people who spend each summer trying to discover the fate of a larger, older and still more mysterious expedition in the Canadian Arctic: the Franklin expedition of 1845.

Controversial, tragic and stubborn mysteries like these have a far greater hold on the public imagination than heroic successes. Indeed, for a stiff fee you can join an annual expedition to the Arctic to seek clues to the fate of that Franklin…

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