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HMS Resolute

HMS Resolute

How did a ship involved in the failed searches for the lost explorer, Sir John Franklin, alter the course of history forever and become the lasting symbol of Anglo-American friendship? Sent into the Canadian Arctic in 1852 to find Franklin as part of the Belcher Expedition, the officers and men of HMS Resolute spent two years under their gallant and kind Captain Kellett unsuccessfully searching for the Franklin Expedition until they were forced by the expedition's commander, Edward Belcher, to abandon ship. Then an American whaler, James Munro Buddington, salvaged Resolute in Baffin Bay, and brought her into his New England homeport on Christmas Eve 1855.

Meanwhile, Britain, seeking soldiers for her Crimean War, and against all international laws about the sovereignty of nations, recruited soldiers in five US cities despite America's declared neutrality. President Franklin Pierce, desperately seeking a way to unify his country riven by the issue of slavery, seized upon this affront. Prime Minister Palmerston, hoping to divert the attention of the British people from his extremely unpopular Crimean War, did not respond with an apology but rather tripled the number of Royal Navy ships just outside American waters. President Pierce appealed for Congressional approval to match that response.

The jingoistic war of words was in danger of exploding into open hostilities as the opposing naval forces faced off: Britain and America were on the brink of their third war until Resolute became the focus of the rising tensions...and then she changed history forever!

In this work of maritime historical fiction follow our young American hero, Abraham Fairfax III, as he wrestles with his Quaker conscience over slavery and goes whaling in the Canadian Arctic. There he falls into the clutches of the sadistic British squadron leader, Edward Belcher, and is rescued by Resolute's intrepid captain, Henry Kellett. Arriving in Ireland Abraham falls in love with Kellett's beautiful but headstrong daughter.

Read about their adventures as they are inextricably entwined with the divergent lives of Arctic explorers, salt-encrusted Yankee whalers, and cross-Atlantic warmongering politicians in the incredible story of Her Majesty's Ship Resolute!

"Elizabeth Matthews, an American writer, knows more about the history of HMS Resolute, and the complicated political background which threatened war between Great Britain and the US, than anyone else."

--the late Michael Phillips-- leading British naval historian

Publication Date: 
November 23, 2007

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