Bookshelf

Island of the Blue Foxes | Disaster and Triumph of the World's Greatest Scientific Expedition | Stephen R. Bown

Island of the Blue Foxes

Disaster and Triumph of the World's Greatest Scientific Expedition

TThe story of the world's largest, longest, and best financed scientific expedition of all time, triumphantly successful, gruesomely tragic, and never before fully told. The Great Northern Expedition was the most ambitious and well-financed scientific expedition in history. Lasting nearly ten years and spanning three continents, its geographical, cartographical and natural history accomplishments are on par with James Cook's famous voyages, the scientific circumnavigations of Alessandro Malaspina and Louis Antoine de Bougainville, and Lewis and Clark's cross-continental trek.

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White Eskimo | Knud Rasmussen's Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic | Stephen R. Bown

White Eskimo

Knud Rasmussen's Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic

The first full-scale biography of the visionary explorer and ethnographer who opened up the culture, the language, and the life of the Arctic. Knud Rasmussen stands among those famous for revealing hitherto impenetrable worlds-T. E. Lawrence and Wilfred Thesiger in the Middle East, and Richard Burton in Africa. Part Danish and part Greenlandic, Rasmussen is renowned not only for his bravery, joyous sense of adventure and the beauty of his writing, but also for his priceless collection and interpretation of Inuit songs, stories and mythology.

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The Last Viking |  The Life of Roald Amundsen | Stephen R. Bown

The Last Viking

The Life of Roald Amundsen

The untold story of the great polar explorer who conquered the world's last unknown places, before vanishing in a daring bid to rescue his nemesis.

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1494 | How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the world in Half | Stephen R. Bown

1494

How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the world in Half

The true story involving a corrupt pope – the patriarch of the family fictionalized in the hit Showtime series The Borgias – in an explosive feud between monarchs and the Church that divided the world in half.

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Merchant Kings | When Companies Ruled the World, 1600–1900 | Stephen R. Bown

Merchant Kings

When Companies Ruled the World, 1600–1900

The Merchant Kings of the Age of Heroic Commerce were a rogue's gallery of larger-than-life merchant-adventurers who, during a couple of hundred years, expanded their far-flung commercial enterprises over a good portion of the world to generate revenue for their shareholders, feather their own nests and satisfy their vanity and curiosity.

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Madness, Betrayal and the Lash | The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver | Stephen R. Bown

Madness, Betrayal and the Lash

The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver

The incredible true story of George Vancouver 'world traveler and Royal Navy officer' Madness, Betrayal and the Lash is a tale of adventure at sea, the struggle of empires and of one man's battle against illness, the isolation of command and Britain's polarizing class system.

Winner of the 2009 Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award & also shortlisted for the Canadian Authors' Association Lela Common Award for History.

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Forgotten Highways | Wilderness Journeys Down the Historic Trails of the Canadian Rockies | Stephen R. Bown

Forgotten Highways

Wilderness Journeys Down the Historic trails of the Canadian Rockies

Enticed by wilderness and history, Brink and Bown embarked upon a grand journey to explore the history and territory of the original trade and travel routes across the Rocky Mountains. This was the first step in a quest to retrace the pioneering footfalls of David Thompson's 1807 journey across Howse Pass which opened the first intercontinental trade route to the Pacific Ocean. They also followed the trails of Sir George Simpson, Captain John Palliser and Mary Schaffer. Forgotten Highways is the personal account of the authors' travels, mingled with the tales of the historic pathfinders who preceded them.

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A Most Damnable Invention | Dynamite, nitrates and the making of the modern world | Stephen R. Bown

A Most Damnable Invention

Dynamite, nitrates and the making of the modern world

The dramatic story of two brilliant but controversial men and their world-changing scientific discoveries. Humanity's desire to harness the destructive capacity of fire is a saga that extends back to the dawn of civilization. But the true age of explosives, when they radically and irrevocably changed the world, began in the 1860s with the remarkable intuition of a sallow Swedish chemist named Alfred Nobel.

A selection of the Scientific American Book Club, the History Book Club and the Quality Paperback Book Club. Shortlisted for the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction and the Canadian Science Writers Association Science in Society Book Award

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Scurvy | How a Surgeon, a Mariner, and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail | Stephen R. Bown

Scurvy

How a Surgeon, a Mariner, and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail

Scurvy took a terrible toll in the Age of Sail, killing more sailors than were lost in all sea battles combined. The threat of the disease kept ships close to home and doomed those vessels that ventured too far from port. The willful ignorance of the royal medical elite, who endorsed ludicrous medical theories based on speculative research while ignoring the life-saving properties of citrus fruit, cost tens of thousands of lives and altered the course of many battles at sea. The cure for scurvy ranks among the greatest of human accomplishments, yet its impact on history has, until now, been largely ignored.

Chosen as one of the Globe & Mail's Top 100 Books of 2004.

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Sightseers and Scholars | Scientific travellers in the golden age of natural history | Stephen R. Bown

Sightseers and Scholars

Scientific travellers in the golden age of natural history

Sightseers and Scholars provides portraits of the early naturalists who explored the New World in the pre-Darwinian Age. The book profiles nine important naturalists - both dedicated professionals and amateurs - who set off for what is now North and South America to discover and document the natural wonders they found there. Their stories of adventure are punctuated with hardship, both in finding the financing to get their ventures off the ground, and the vagaries of the elements they encountered in the New World. Despite the odds, these explorers chronicled their adventures in both words and pictures, providing a unique portrait of the natural world in North, South, and Central America before parts of it became widely settled.

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