Ancient Mariner

Ancient Mariner

The Amazing Adventures of Samuel Hearne, the Sailor Who Walked to the Arctic Ocean

Book - 2003
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Ken McGoogan has done it again--written a vivid, real-life adventure that restores an extraordinary yet forgotten figure to his rightful place in exploration history. Among fur-trade experts, Samuel Hearne is grudgingly recognized as the eighteenth-century British adventurer who, during a remarkable three-year odyssey, became the first European to reach the Arctic coast of North America. In Ancient Mariner, McGoogan demonstrates that Hearne was far more complex, accomplished and influential than the history books suggest.

Beginning with Hearne's entry into the Royal Navy at twelve years of age, McGoogan paints an authentic portrait of eighteenth-century British life, both on and off the wooden sailing ships. After serving as a midshipman during the tumultuous Seven Years' War, Hearne moved to London and, in 1766, just twenty-one, joined the Hudson's Bay Company. Based at the company's northernmost fort, an ambitious Hearne embarked on an overland quest for rich veins of copper supposedly located "far to the northward where the sun don't set"--and also to discover the Northwest Passage.

In his posthumously published journal, Hearne described the three-year odyssey--a harrowing journey marked by hardship, hunger and disappointment, and mitigated only by his friendship with the legendary Dene leader Matonabbee. Hearne trekked more than 3,500 miles. His epic adventure culminated in the infamous and still-controversial massacre at "Bloody Falls"--an event that, as McGoogan shows, changed him forever.

Drawing on naval history, fur-trade history and literary history, McGoogan portrays Hearne as a skilled navigator, a pioneering anthropologist, a ground-breaking naturalist and a gifted natural artist. He fell in love with a native woman and never fully recovered after she died tragically.

In a fascinating bit of literary detective work, McGoogan also determines that, having returned to London to live out his final days, Hearne met Samuel Taylor Coleridge and inspired the poet to write "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Suffused with McGoogan's inimitable passion and insight, sparkling with discoveries and reinterpretations, Ancient Mariner is destined to become the non-fiction book of the fall season.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperFlamingo Canada, 2003
ISBN: 9780002000987
Branch Call Number: 917.19 MCG
Characteristics: 333 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm


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Apr 22, 2017

McGoogan's accounts of historical figures and events read as engagingly as novels. As he did with Fatal Passage: The Story of John Rae, the Arctic Hero Time Forgot, he succeeds in developing Hearne as a fully rounded personality, a man of many talents and strong passions, not just an historical figure. McGoogan is also to be commended for accurately portraying the relationships with and among the aboriginal peoples (primarily Cree and Dene) their traditions and behavior and their crucial role in Hearne's explorational journeys.
Considering what Hearne accomplished and the conditions under which he did so, it's remarkable that he is largely forgotten here in Canada and totally forgotten in his birthplace Beaminster and in London where he spent the remainder of his life after retiring from the HBC. It may be that one reason neither Rae nor Hearne received the recognition they deserved was that they told their own countrymen truths that they wished not to hear and chose not to believe. Too often, our accepted version of history is colored by the prejudices and vested interests of those who have custody of the records.

Jul 11, 2013

. samuel hearne .british explorer ect........ hired by hudson bay company most notabily exploration, mapping,befriending various native nations ,tribes & clans. he travelled with [himself the only white] locals. crossing nation /tribe boundaries.taught &learned survival@ its ' bare bones' level. His observations set the record striaght that there was NO passage to the pacific from the western shores of the hudsons bay .[navagable by ocean going vessel] Hearne book ;Journey To The Northern Ocean, is his story of 2.5 years continious trek from fort princeof wales { fort churchill} to mouth of Copper mine river on the artic ocean via great slave lake,great bear lake & bloody falls (named by hearne re. massacre witnessed against the inuit by Matonabbee`s group of dene, cree

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