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A Negro Explorer at the North Pole

By: Matthew Henson
Narrated by: Felbrigg Napoleon Herriot
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Summary

FNH audio presents an unabridged reading of A Negro Explorer at the North Pole.

In 1908, Commander Peary launched his eighth attempt to reach the North Pole, and he made sure to take his tried and tested companion, Matthew Henson. In the following year, they made the first ever successful visit to the North Pole.

The journey included many hardships, including weather, lack of resources, and even accidents leading to death. Despite all of these setbacks, Peary and his Negro companion, Matthew, strove onwards and became the first men to step upon the pole.

In this autobiographical telling, Matthew presents his experiences step by step all the way to the pole and back.

Public Domain (P)2017 Felbrigg Napoleon Herriot

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  • just asking for some common sense
  • 25-08-19

Somewhat dry accounting of exciting adventure

l thought this a solid book, albeit a bit dry and matter of fact. It is an accounting of the Peary Expedition to the North Pole in 1908-9. Matthew Henson (1867-1955) was an African American born in Maryland to parents who had been free sharecroppers before the Civil War. He eventually became Robert Peary's assistant on many of his expeditions.

Henson was part of the small group who reached the North Pole in 1909. He said that his footsteps were first. Peary got the credit because it was his expedition. He was a rival of Frederick Cook who had also claimed to reach the Pole, but whose claims were discredited. It is uncertain if Peary reached his destination as well, or whether he was about 60 miles away.

This fact is almost irrelevant as this was just part of the accomplishments of these men. They had spent years learning the ways of the Inuit people in order to survive. Henson learned the language as well. This journey was an incredible feat and should be recognized as such.

I'm interested in learning more about Henson. There is a biography that he contributed to that is hard to find. The narration was perfectly good, but I wonder why no African American man has recorded this? I wish this were in a more authentic voice.

This is my 7th book of Summer Listening Around the World and it was about as good as I had expected and hoped. A great writer could really put together an incredible biography of Henson.