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Alice Jane Hamilton

Alice Jane Hamilton is the great-great granddaughter of Arctic explorer John Rae's sister, Marion Sibbald (Rae) Hamilton, who moved with her family in 1856 from Orkney, Scotland, to Hamilton, Ontario. She has contributed to CBC Radio programs Fresh Air and Morningside, to the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post. She and her husband Don Cooper live in Penetanguishene on Georgian Bay in Ontario.

Finding John Rae
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: University/College;

John Rae was known as the “Arctic Fox” for his ability to trek vast distances in a short time across the Arctic. This creative nonfiction biography of the celebrated Arctic explorer begins in 1854 when, on a mapping expedition to the Boothia Peninsula, Rae discovers the missing link in the Northwest Passage and the fate of the missing Franklin Expedition — learning from Inuit hunters that Franklin’s ships had been beset by ice, and that the crew, starving in the cold, had resorted to cannibalism. When the Scottish-born scientist and Hudson’s Bay Company Chief Factor reports the details in private to the British Admiralty, his statement is secretly but deliberately released to the newspapers. Led by such well-known figures as Charles Dickens and Sir John Franklin’s widow, much of the population rises against Rae and his Inuit informants. Alice Jane Hamilton goes on to explore how Rae, through bitter disappointment and soaring hope, rebuilds his life, all the while defending the integrity of the Arctic natives who brought him the evidence of cannibalism.

"Alice Jane Hamilton skilfully blends fact and fiction to breathe new life into the thrilling story of John Rae, the most successful, and yet least celebrated, Arctic explorer of the 19th century. " — Tom Muir, author of Orkney Folk Tales

Finding John Rae brings one of the greatest, and most under-appreciated, 19th-century Arctic explorers vividly to life.” — John Wilson, author of Discovering the Arctic

Additional Information
228 pages | 9.00" x 6.00"

This book is creative nonfiction, a genre of writing that presents factually accurate narratives using literary style and technique (creativity).

Authentic Canadian Content