Sir John Franklin's Narrative of the Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea in the Years 1819-1822 recounts a hair-raising adventure of the "Golden Age of Discovery," the period from 1800 to 1847 when sailing ships from around the world feverishly searched for a Northwest Passage through the Arctic. Franklin entered the Royal Navy at the age of 14, went on his first exploratory voyage to Australia (1801-03), and served in the battles of Trafalgar (1805) and New Orleans (1814). He was co-commander of an Arctic expedition of 1818 that sought to reach the North Pole, and after his return to England, he published Narrative in 1823 to much fanfare. In September 1846, during his final expedition, he became trapped in the ice in Victoria Strait, off King William Island (the midpoint between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans), which culminated, in April 1848, in the deaths of Franklin and 23 explorers there. AUTHOR BIO: Sir John Franklin (1786-1847), English rear admiral and explorer, is credited with expanding our geographical knowledge of the Canadian Arctic and adding greatly to the literature of exploration.