Devlin Stead grows up a lonely orphan in late 19th century Newfoundland. When he begins receiving letters from the esteemed but mysterious explorer Dr. Frederick Cook, they entirely change his understanding of who he is and what he might become. Invited by Dr. Cook to become his apprentice, Dev eagerly heads for New York City, where he is introduced into society and joins his mentor in epic attempts to reach the North Pole before Cook’s archrival Robert Edwin Peary. When Dev is thrust into international controversy, he must master a series of revelations about his family that will determine his fate.
In spellbinding prose, the author of the acclaimed Colony of Unrequited Dreams recreates the romance, the politics and the peril of the legendary race for the North Pole. Brilliantly rooted in history, The Navigator of New York is a fascinating exploration of the quest for discovery, and how it is remembered.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Navigator of New York|
|Release Date: 10-14-2003|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Navigator of...|
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The Navigator of New York
In 1881, Aunt Daphne said, not long after my first birthday, my father told the family that he had signed on with the Hopedale Mission, which was run by Moravians to improve the lives of Eskimos in Labrador. His plan, for the next six months, was to travel the coast of Labrador as an outport doctor. He said that no matter what, he would always be an Anglican. But it was his becoming a fool, not a Moravian, that most concerned his family.
In what little time they had before he was due to leave, they, my mother and the Steads, including Edward, tried to talk him out of it. They could not counter his reasons for going, for he gave none. He would not counter the reasons they gave for why he should stay, instead meeting their every argument with silence. It would be disgraceful, Mother Stead told him; him off most of the time like the men who worked the boats, except that they at least sent home for the upkeep of their families what little money they didn’t spend on booze. This was not how a man born into a family of standing, and married into one, should conduct himself. Sometimes, on the invitation of Mother Stead, a minister would come by and join them in dressing down my father. He endured it all in silence for a while, then excused himself and went upstairs to his study. It was as though he was already gone, already remote from us.
Perhaps the idea to become an explorer occurred to him only after he became an outport doctor. Or he might have met explorers or heard about some while travelling in Labrador. I’m not sure.
At any rate, he had been with the Hopedale Mission just over a year, was at home after his second six-month stint, whe