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Blandford London. 1991. The quest for the Northwest Passage was one of the greatest navigational challenges and an international obsession for early mariners. For 500 years explorers, spurred by the promise of wealth or prestige, risked their lives to find a commercial route to the markets of the Orient. The European perception of the Arctic as a sublime, beautiful and inspiring place left explorers ill prepared for the ice-choke sea and frozen landmass, temperatures as low as -54° C or white-outs, mirages and mock suns. Beginning in 1497 with John Cabot, a steady succession of explorers from different countries tried and failed in the attempt. It was not until 1906 that the Northwest Passage was successfully navigated by Roald Amundsen. Illustrated dust jacket over blue cloth covered end boards. Near fine condition. 152pp. 310 x 230 mm