Author Ken McGoogan believes, rightly or wrongly, that Arctic explorer John Rae was the first to discover the Northwest Passage conneting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans across upper Canada and the Arctic Circle.
The first half of the story is devoted to Rae's adventures in the Artic, his nearly unbelieveable strenghth and endurance. The latter portion details Rae's biggest mistake. Exposing the truth about his discoveries when searching for the lost explorer Sir John Franklin and his two ships all reported missing since 1845. Lady Jane, Sir Franklin's wife, hates Rae when he returns to report the Inuit people's story of the discovery of artifacts and bones which Rae connects to the Franklin expedition. The Inuit people also reported evidence of cannibalism by Franklin's men. Lady Jane refuses to accept Rae's story and does everything in her power to discredit Rae and the story. She is successful, and Rae is denied the honor of knighthood awarded to every other Artic explorer. Lady Jane never gives up her vendetta, and Rae never gives up his love of the Arctic.
In later years, Rae is hired to do some land surveying for the Atlantic Telegraph Company for their planned telegraph cable from Britian to North America.
This report prepared by Jan Lamers