Wednesday 7 September 2022

May We Be Spared to Meet on Earth - The voyage begins!


At last! Our book, May We Be Spared to Meet on Earth: Letters of the Lost Franklin Arctic Expedition, has now been released!

The title is from the 175th letter in the collection in which Sarah Hartnell, mother of two members of the expedition, expresses her hope of being reunited with her sons but recognizes and accepts that  her hopes may not be fulfilled:

“if it is the Lords will may we be spared to meet on earth if not God grant we may all meet around his throne to praise him to all eternity”.

Steve and Mary Williamson hosted a wonderful launch party on Sunday at their beautiful home in East Sussex.

The centrepiece of the show was the cake cutting ceremony in which I can be seen wielding Sir John Franklin's sword (ineffectually) while Mary actually divides the cake which is brilliantly decorated with a full sized reproduction of the book's cover. You can be assured that I took home the piece with my name on it and that it was truly delicious. 

My sincere thanks to Russell Potter, who led the book project superbly, fellow editors Regina Koellner and Mary Williamson, Sir Michael Palin for the foreword, and everyone else who had a hand in making it a reality. I am humbled to have been allowed to join in.


  1. Nice to hear from you again Mr. Carney ! Cheers from me, Solomon Grundy.

  2. Excited to read this! I became fascinated in the lost Franklin expedition after reading The Terror. Obviously a fictional story based on the expedition, but I adored the depiction of life on a Royal Navy ship, and survival trapped in the ice - and I resolved to delve into the actual history. I first found your blog when I read the fascinating post about lead in the tinned food, and how it probably wasn't as significant as previously thought - it was more likely to be the ice that doomed the men - and then went on to discover this book!

    I can't wait to read it. I cannot imagine what it was like for the loved-ones, awaiting their husband or son or brother, slowly realising they were very late, and feeling hope drain away with every passing year. Heartbreaking.

    Anyway just wanted to thank you for this blog, I am not a historian (doctor by trade) but I have always loved stories of polar expiration and this one in particular has a hold on me.. I can't explain it, maybe it's the mystery or the excitement of finding the ships, but either way, I am very glad to find resources like this. Thank you :)


Stephan Goldner and the Billion Dollar Corporation

  I was amazed to discover recently that it is now ten years ago, in November 2012, that I had the privilege to travel to Nelson Mandela Rd,...