In the spring of 1930 in England, as the world was slipping into the Great Depression, his single-parent family had few good prospects. Every boy dreams of adventures, but few have the courage or opportunity to make them a reality. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. The spirit would perhaps have been of a former grandparent. His story is full of perilous adventures chasing polar bears, getting knocked off his sled in a blizzard and left behind by his dog team , and he tells these in a gripping way. The Last Gentleman Adventurer easily joins the work of Jack London and Herman Melville in this regard, with the happy and astonishing distinction of being a true account rather than fiction. Marketing must have its way.
I love the dogs, the women, the austerity of the life in the arctic. In fact -- and I hope this engenders curiousity more than disdain in this era of high regard for irony -- he doesn't even employ irony to tell his beautiful story, except that which emerges naturally about the chasm between humans and nature. I love this book, I love going with Edward Beauclerk Maurice, back into the nineteen twenties, being stuck in the arctic circle of Foxland and Baffin Island, and making a go of living among the eskimos. After three years, he was sent to his own outpost, where, alone, he had to save the community from illness and starvation, as well as teach them English and contend with the amorous attentions of the local ladies. Of the Inuit women, many excelled in the same skills as the men; hunting, trapping, handling the dogs, setting up camp. Beauclerk Maurice emerges as a man of warmth, humour and generosity. She and Innuk went through the team one by one to decide which of them were in need of this protection concluding that Rebecca should make eight pairs of booties.
He learned their language and became so immersed in their culture and way of life that children thought he was Inuit himself. I don't know too many 16-year olds who would be as tough. I don't know too many 16-year olds who would be as tough. Maurice made friends with the Inuit people, learned their language. He writes sadly of the epidemic that raged among the Innuit and his attempt to save them with little more than cough syrup.
His approach to coping with isolated fur trading posts was to learn the Eskimo language and become fully engaged in the lives of the native people. Of course it's all true. This very human book left this reader with a sliver of hope for the future. It is also a tale of the impact that the diseases man brought to the area. It is a wise and thoughtful book and brings out how both the Inuit learned to understand him and how he immersed himself in their culture.
What is delightful about this character is that he sees the Inuit with respect to his own morals, ethics and upbringing, but without judging them. It was this spirit that truly looked after the welfare of the child and was therefore of supreme importance. An illuminating account of an enterprising Englishman in the early 20th Century as he navigates the customs and norms of Inuit life in the Arctic. It is a detailed anthropological document. At sixteen, Edward Beauclerk Maurice impulsively signed up with the Hudson's Bay Company -- the company of Gentleman Adventurers -- and ended up at an isolated trading post in the Canadian Arctic, where there was no communication with the outside world and only one ship arrived each year.
Did he have trouble readjusting to life away from the Inuit people and the Arctic? He started out fairly mature, but definitely and subtly becomes a very responsible man within a couple of years. He illustrates the principle and practice of wife sharing through his handling of a dispute between two gun-toting men, and his own shy avoidance of the challenges of women close to him. His own title, Igloo Behind the Wind, was meant as a tribute to the Inuit, whom he admired and regarded as the real heroes of his book. He learned their language and lived among them, sharing their food, clothing and homes, meanwhile growing from a teenager into a man. I love the dogs, the women, the austerity of the life in the arctic.
It is the story of a youngster's rise to manhood. And, eventually, after a noble Victorian struggle against lust, he takes himself a temporary wife among the uninhibited Innuit. He seems also to have been an astute observer of character - his characterizations of his particular native friends are distinct whole persons not stereotypes. Inspired by a documentary on the Canadian Arctic, he signed up for a five-year apprenticeship with the Hudson's Bay Company. And then there were their own gender specific duties; the sewing and softening of the skins to fashion warm clothing and the never-ending, demanding chore of maintaining the oil lamp. Having been to similar regions of the Arctic and met Innuit people in the Native villages of Alaska made it all the more real for me.
There is scant information on his life. I think this one will stay with me for a long time. Maurice's job was to run a trading post, swapping rifles, ammunition, and other finished trade goods for furs trapped by the local Inuit. It sheds light on a way of life that many of us will never live, and probably don't know much about. I will miss the cold and the ice white. Edward was faced with a stark choice: to follow his mother and elder siblings to farm in New Zealand, or pursue an uncertain future as an apprentice fur trader among the Eskimos. This is the story of a young man determined to triumph over every circumstance.
Edward was faced with a stark choice: to follow his mother and elder siblings to farm in New Zealand, or pursue an uncertain future as an apprentice fur trader among the Eskimos. For in those days, London was still the centre of a great empire and it was commonplace for parties to be seen gathering at railway stations, or at other places of departure, to begin their long journeys to far-away places. That first y A truly remarkable memoir. A profoundly humane person E. Bookseller: , Washington, United States Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2006. At one point in the story, I wept. I just wish there would have been pictures! Though the memoir ends when Maurice leaves that post, he went back to the arctic twice more before the war, and then never again.
He describes those events most humbly. The book recounts his five years as a fur-trader among the Eskimo as they were then known , learning their ways and language and gradually becoming accepted as an equal in a society and culture that are now lost forever. Over the next five years the author learned the Innuit language and the skills of the north, including seal and caribou hunting, dog sledding, trapping, and survival in the long, sub-zero winters. He was deeply conscious of what he believed was his very modest role in a land, and among a people, whose qualities were far more astonishing than anything to which he — a shy schoolboy with almost no outdoor experience — could have laid claim to. This is his only book and he wrote it in his old age and died at nearly age 90 before it was published.