Fast in the Ice

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This little book describes a visit up to the Arctic regions, that was supposed to have taken place long before the book was written, in other words in the early part of the nineteenth century. The purpose of the journey was to get near to the North Pole, which was considered to be surrounded by a large area of ice-free water. The vessel in which they sailed became beset by ice, and could not be moved. They met with Esquimaux, and saw how they survived, how they killed walrus, how they caught birds, and how they lived in their ice-houses, or igloos. They also had several encounters with polar bears, and musk-ox.

Eventually they have been in the ice for a couple of years, and some of the men are suffering from scurvy. Europeans get scurvy from lack of fruit and vegetables, but this condition doesn't seem to affect the Esquimaux, whose meat and fat diet does not cause them to have heart disorders, either.

The crew eventually abandon the vessel, which has been crushed suddenly and totally by a stream of ice-floes, and are obliged to walk out of where they had spent so much time. Luckily, when at their last gasp, they find an Esquimaux village, where they learn that there is a Danish settlement not too far away, and that from it they can take ship for Europe, and eventually make their way back to Britain.

  • Author: Robert M. Ballantyne
  • Title: Fast in the Ice
  • First Published by: J. Nisbet
  • First Published Date: 1863

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