First published in 1938, Explorer’s Wife is a heartfelt autobiography by Emma Wotton De Long, widow to arctic explorer George Washington De Long, lost to the disastrous Jeannette Expedition, 1879-1881.
This endearing and detailed account recalls the lives of Emma and George during their young courtship, the preparations of the Jeannette Expedition, through to its voyage and ultimate demise. Written from a woman’s perspective, her story chronicles the departure and loss of her husband through letters exchanged between the two, along with documents and anecdotes from the time.
The Jeannette Expedition was captained by George Washington De Long, a US naval officer, and set sail for the arctic in 1879. Along with many of his men, De Long perished when their expedition ran into problems in the Bering Sea. Of the 33 crew members that departed on the voyage, only 13 arrived safely back on US soil.
In this compelling account, Emma Wotton De Long provides a refreshing perspective on the naval catastrophe from a widow’s point of view. Explorer’s Wife is an excellent read for any interested in tragic maritime history and those looking to learn more about the arctic explorations of the past.