At the end of 1894, Eivind Astrup was the most talked about polar explorer in Norway. Fridtjof Nansen had been away on Fram for more than a year and it would be three years before Roald Amundsen went south on Belgica. Astrup had just returned from his second Greenland expedition with American Robert E. Peary. Astrup and Peary had caused international sensation with their 2,100-km (1,300-miles) trek across Northern Greenland. Astrup had helped pioneer the combination of skiing and dog sledging, and was infatuated with the life of the Inuit. He had impressed Peary and had established warm friendships with the other expedition members. On his arrival in Norway, he was widely celebrated in the media and elsewhere, and gave a number of lectures in southern Norway. His stories of the Inuit particularly captured the imagination of the Norwegian audience. After receiving international recognition for his explorations and his recently published book, and in the midst of planning new expeditions to the Polar Regions, he was found dead in the mountains of Hjerkinn, mid-Norway. He was only 24 years old. Today, sadly, Astrup is little known outside the realm of Arctic historians. How and why did his disappearance from popular knowledge occur, and who was this shooting star in the polar world? This first book in English on Eivind Astrup tells the story of his short life in the Arctic. It contains many of Astrup's writings, his communications with Peary, excerpts from previously unpublished letters and reports, his Inuit dictionary, and more than 480 original photos, maps, and newspaper articles.
The Fram Museum