Adventures in the Polar North

The Northwest Passage! Lo, how she beckoned to men stout of heart and steely-willed, an icy temptress who no man might tame. To venture into those Arctic climes was to sound the depths of one’s own bravery; for many a soul were taken into her embrace, there pressed ‘gainst her frozen bosom, never again to be seen by his fellow man!

The Linda Hall Library (5109 Cherry Street, 816-363-4600) today exhibits for the curious and the scholarly Ice: A Victorian Romance — a collection of books chronicling the quixotic and forbidding search for the Northwest Passage in the period from 1818 to 1860, though no man would survive the journey until the 1903 expedition of Norwegian Roald Amundsen. The exhibition offers illustrated volumes depicting the search for the missing Franklin expedition in 1845; gloriously illuminated maps; illustrated depictions of the Aurora Borealis, various Northern fauna and such geologic and meteorological phenomena as those few brave souls saw fit to circulate. Spaces are limited and reservations required; call 816-926-8772.

Thu., May 1, 2008