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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"The immense eighteenth-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. Led by the legendary Danish captain Vitus Bering, the ten-year voyage, which included scientists, artists, mariners, soldiers, and laborers, discovered Alaska, opened the Pacific fur trade, and, thanks to the brilliant naturalist Georg Steller, discovered dozens of New World plants and animals. The story of the expedition is a tale not only of adventure and historic achievement, but also of shipwreck, endurance, and "one of the most tragic and ghastly trials of suffering in the annals of maritime and arctic history.""--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York, NY : Da Capo Press, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780306825194
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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