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Arctic Genius (Hardback)

Sir William Edward Parry: The Original Arctic Explorer

P&S History > Social History

By Trevor Ware
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 32 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399038218
Published: 30th August 2024


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Parry’s life began two hundred and twenty years ago. The Revolutionary Wars against France and Napoleon were just beginning. His naval career started in wartime and lasted throughout the next fifty years during which significant changes took place in the Royal Navy. He pioneered Arctic exploration, led a memorable albeit unsuccessful expedition to reach the North Pole, reformed and improved the operations of the Hydrographers office, and oversaw the difficult transition from sail to steam power in British warships. Throughout his career he strove to improve the educational standards and living conditions of all lower deck sailors.

He was knighted by William IV alongside his close friend John Franklin in 1829. Both survived years of hardship and became national and international celebrities. Tragically though it was Parry and his in laws, the aristocratic Stanley family, who were partly responsible for Franklin’s death in 1846 commanding one more expedition to complete the Northwest Passage.

During their lifetime Parry and Franklin contributed new information on sciences only just emerging from the generalised description of ‘natural philosophy.’ Subjects such as, geography, meteorology, geology, and astronomy. Parry was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and was an expert navigator and fearless surveyor. His grave at Greenwich Hospital was destroyed during an air raid in World War II.

This book is intended to secure his well-deserved place at the forefront of British Arctic exploration and science.

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About Trevor Ware

Trevor Ware has had a lifelong interest in the sea and the Royal Navy. His entire working life was spent in the Food Industry including several large businesses involved with seafoods. Entering retirement, he took a course at Greenwich Maritime Institute leading to an MA in Maritime History. This was followed by a research Degree at Sussex University with a dissertation entitled ‘The Meaning of Ice. Scientific scrutiny and the visual record obtained from British Polar Expeditions between 1772 and 1854.’ He has owned various small boats and sailed in many places including the coast of Norway, the Baltic, Port Jackson Australia, and along the Brittany coast. He lives in West Dorset.

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