Island of the Blue Foxes

Island of the Blue Foxes

Disaster and Triumph on the World's Greatest Scientific Expedition

Book - 2017
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Grand Central Pub
The 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 immense 18th-century scientific journey, variously known as the Second Kamchatka Expedition or the Great Northern Expedition, from St. Petersburg across Siberia to the coast of North America, involved over 3,000 people and cost Peter the Great over one-sixth of his empire's annual revenue. Until now recorded only in academic works, this 10-year venture, led by the legendary Danish captain Vitus Bering and including scientists, artists, mariners, soldiers, and laborers, discovered Alaska, opened the Pacific fur trade, and led to fame, shipwreck, and "one of the most tragic and ghastly trials of suffering in the annals of maritime and arctic history."

Baker & Taylor
Describes the treacherous, tragic and ultimately successful 10-year, 18th-century scientific expedition from St. Petersburg across Siberia to the coast of North America that included scientists, artists, mariners, soldiers, and laborers and that ultimately discovered Alaska and opened the Pacific fur trade. 20,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York, NY : Da Capo Press, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780306825194
Branch Call Number: 910.9164 B685i
Characteristics: xi, 327 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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" Anna Ivanovna had a strong preference for placing foreigners in positions of authority and prestige." "On the trail, Bering lived up to his rough-and-tumble reputation, and they all had to endure clouds of flies and mosquitoes while floating down rivers on barges." " In previous centuries, English, Spanish, French, and Dutch kidnapping of natives from the Americas had been common on the Atlantic and Carribean coasts." " To obtain sea-otter pelts, some of them went ' raging amongst the animals, without discipline and order, often going only to amuse each other' , soon driving the animals from all the north east side of the island." gambling became a big problem, and the pelts were used as currency. the fights the crews had with the foxes are most entertaining, as well as gruesome ( but no more gruesome than the Canadian seal hunts done annually, still). both sides became food sources for the other. ' Bering is found dead and covered in sand in this stylized and not accurated depiction of the events of December 8, 1741, in a Russian book from the 1890s." " Professor Croyere, who had been sick for weeks, begged to come ashore, but when he was brought up into the light on deck, he took a breath and expired."


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