Vikings of the Ice
By George Allan England
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George Allan England's landmark account of a 1922 sealing expedition.
“Going swilin, is ye, sir? Me dear man! Ye'll be rale hearty. If y'r luck's in, ye'll take no harm. I was on de Florizel, time she an' ninty-four men was lost. 'Tis a wonnderful fine racket. I'd like to be goin' in collar meself, agin, wid me rope an' gaff an' sculpin' knife! I'd like to year de ole cry: 'Starboard over!' an' year dem whitecoats bawlin.' I would, so.”
In 1922, a forty-five year old Nebraskan born, Harvard educated, globetrotting, adventuring writer with an ear for dialect and an appreciation for talk, song and folklore sailed for the ice fields with Captain Abraham Kean on the Terra Nova. George Allan England was the first and only person to write a detailed account of Newfoundland's offshore seal hunt. Vikings of the Ice captures the blood, guts, sweat and toil of the swilin' life aboard one of the most famous wooden walls of all. The Terra Nova carried Scott to the Antarctic in 1910. In 1922 she carried England and his notebook to the ice to pen this remarkable work.