Paul Simpson-Housley was born in Derbyshire, United Kingdom. He has taught university in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Chile. Currently he is director of graduate geography and associate professor at York University. His published books include Sacred Places and Profane Spaces: The Geographics of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, and The Psychology of Geographical Hazards.
This book seeks to provide illustrations of Arctic mysteries and fictions which often occur as a result of misconceptions of Arctic geography. The chapters are extremely varied in subject matter, and conclusions are in the domain of speculation.
The book begins with very early examples of northern travels starting with the probable adventures of Pytheas the Greek, Brendan the Irish monk and the four medieval odysseys of Adam of Bremen, Nicolas of Lynn, Prince Henry Sinclair and Zeno of Venice.
No account of polar enigmas would be complete without reference to the Franklin expedition, the possible fate of his lost ships and the debate over whether his men committed cannibalism. The book concludes with a deliberation on whether Cook or Perry actually did reach the North Pole, hinting that perhaps neither of them reached their objective.
A provacative collection of essays.