Bookshelf / Island of the Blue Foxes

Island of the Blue Foxes

Disaster and Triumph of the World's Greatest Scientific Expedition


"'A rip-roaring tale of adventures, hardship, sacrifice, human hubris and - dare I say – madness –... set in inhospitable landscapes and told with breezy energy. Wonderful."

– ANDREA WULF author of The Invention of Nature: Alexander Humboldt's New World

"One of the most significant and harrowing expeditions in the annals of European and American exploration, the Bering voyages remain largely unknown to modern readers. Bering left his name on a sea and a strait, and his naturalist Steller identified dozens of unknown plants and animals in the New World, but perhaps the most inspiring legacy is the remarkable forbearance and human ingenuity employed by the expedition's survivors in the face of scurvy, starvation, and shipwreck. A gifted chronicler of Northern exploration, Stephen Bown tells this incredible tale with grace, authority, and a deep grasp of its significance."

– PETER STARK, author of Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire

"Bown has done an exceptional job in telling the compelling tale of one of the world's greatest and most tragic maritime expeditions ... a largely forgotten story of an incredible Russian seafaring endeavour in the early eighteenth century, as well as the depth of human despair and perseverance in the name of exploration and science."

– JAMES P. DELGADO, author of Across the Top of the World: The Quest for the Northwest Passage

"A gripping account of 'the most extensive scientific expedition in history,' whose impressive results were certainly matched by its duration and miseries. A rapidly paced story of adventure 'to be appreciated as a reminder of the power of nature and of the struggle and triumph over disaster...and of the powerful urge to persevere and return home.'"

– Kirkus Reviews