Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Terror

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The Terror

A Novel

by Dan Simmons

The Terror
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 784 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2007, 672 pages

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The mythical North-West Passage held the imagination of Britain for most of the 19th century. At that time, before the great canals of Panama and Suez were built, trade with the lucrative markets in Asia was perilous and slow, with trade routes either flowing past the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, across to India, and thereby to the Far East; or taking the dangerous passage South around Cape Horn in South America, and then across the Pacific. What Britain sought was a shortcut: The fabled North-West Passage, a sea-route North past Canada, through to Alaska and the lucrative markets of the Orient.

Expedition after expedition was sent. People were convinced a passage was there, with wealth and fame awaiting those who found it. Some even speculated ...

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