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The Last Gentleman Adventurer


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About the Author

EDWARD BEAUCLERK MAURICE, after serving in the New Zealand navy during World War II, became a bookseller in an English village and rarely traveled again. He died in 2003, as this book was being readied for publication.


Maurice was a 16-year-old boy from a struggling British family when a missionary from the Canadian Arctic paid a visit to his boarding school in 1930. Impressed by an accompanying film about life in the frozen territories, Maurice immediately sought employment as an apprentice with the Hudson's Bay Company and was sent to a remote trading post, where news from the outside world was often limited to a short weekly radio broadcast. He was so young, the local Inuit tribe nicknamed him "The Boy," but, as revealed over the course of this charming memoir, he was gradually able to win their trust and admiration. Eventually placed in charge of his own post, Maurice-having already learned the Inuit language-became increasingly involved in the daily lives of the local tribe members. His accounts of their dramatic romantic entanglements are understatedly amusing, as is the dry observation that he himself has been selected by one of the women as a suitable mate. Maurice, who died in 2003, recounts his youthful adventures in a graceful style reminiscent of the great 20th-century explorers. Though his tale is somewhat more subdued than their exploits, it proves just as engrossing. Agent, Isobel Dixon, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency (London). (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Enthralling." The New York Times

"Maurice evokes his Arctic in vivid detail." Boston Globe "An unrivaled portrait of Unuit life." -- National Geographic Adventurer "Effortlessly entertaining." The Washington Post "A fascinating often funny chronicle of his early years among the Inuit." Entertainment Weekly

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