Burial of John Franklin. Author: me


Kabloonas is the way in which the Inuit who live in the north part of Canada call those who haven´t their same ascendency.

The first time i read this word was in the book "Fatal Passage" by Ken McGoogan, when, as the result of the conversations between John Rae and some inuit, and trying to find any evidence of the ill-fated Sir John Franklin Expedition, some of then mentioned that they watched how some kabloonas walked to die in the proximities of the river Great Fish.

I wish to publish this blog to order and share all those anecdotes that I´ve been finding in the arctic literature about arctic expeditions. My interest began more than 15 years ago reading a little book of my brother about north and south pole expeditions. I began reading almost all the bibliography about Antarctic expeditions and the superknown expeditions of Scott, Amundsen, Shackleton, etc. After I was captured by the Nansen, Nobile and Engineer Andree. But the most disturbing thing in that little book, full of pictures, was the two pages dedicated to the last Franklin expedition of the S.XIX, on that moment I thought that given the time on which this and others expeditions happened, few or any additional information could be obtained about it. I couldn´t imagine that after those two pages It would be a huge iceberg full of stories, unresolved misteries, anecdotes, etc. I believe that this iceberg, on the contrary than others, would continue growing instead melting.

jueves, 10 de marzo de 2016


I am not the kind of people who likes to break myths, but in this case I am afraid someone has unmasked an impostor.

It seems that the only known portrait of Sophie Cracroft, (you know who she is, Lady Franklin´s niece who accompanied her untiringly all around the world), doesn´t belong her. Through a searching I was conducting through Pinterest I have stumbled upon this picture which gives us information about the true name of the pretty girl depicted in that allegedly Sophie´s portrait.

Ex-Sophie Cracroft.

Apparently the woman in the portrait is called Alphonsine Plessis and it was painted by Édouard Viénot. She was a French courtesan born in 1824  ans was the mistress of some important men of the time. She was too the inspiration who embodied Marguarite Gautier from The Dame aux Camelies by Alexander Dumas. 

If you "Googleized" the name Alphonsine Plessis in The Internet, then other portraits will appear with women on them whose countenances coincide with our Sophie.
Alphonsine PlessisFrom Scandolous woman blogspot

Alphonsine Plessis
From Wikipedia
It seems that behind our Sophie was hidden Alphonsine and behind Alphonsise was hidden The Dame aux Camelies. Interesting, isn´t it?

So, this adds a little bit more mystery to her already enough mysterious character. If this is true, which it seems to be, then the only known portrait of her is that photo oon which she appears with Lady Franklin. That one which Russell Potter identified some time ago. 

Alphonsine´s body lies in Montmartre´s cemetery far from Kensal Cemetery, the place where the actual Sophie was buried. Hers was a much shorter life than Sophie´s and judging from what I have read about her infinitely much less interesting.

6 comentarios:

  1. Thank you Andres. Very interesting, as usual.

    1. Thanks Randall, it has been just a coincidence. I hope someday we could find a portrait of her to get an accurate idea about how she was.

  2. Andrés, excellent work catching this misattribution. It seems to date from 2012, and was uploaded by someone in Australia; the Wikipedia's use of the image points back to this source. I've asked that the image be corrected at Wikipedia (where I've been a small-time editor for many years) -- but errors such as this are hard to stamp out! You are also right -- so far as I know the Yosemite image is the only known photo of Sophy -- or image of any kind!

  3. Haha! Russell few time ago I checked out the Wikipedia picture and I realized that someone had asked them for making the correction. I was wondering if that had been asked time ago or recently precisely because the blog post. Now the little mystery has been solved. You are incredible. Maybe you could ask them to put the Yosemite photo instead.

    Anyway the credit should go to Peter Michaelsen who through posting the Not-Sophie picture in Pinterest actually unveiled the "impostor".

  4. This morning procrastinating madly on my phone I found myself looking at a portrait of Alphonsine / Marie duPlessis and thinking OMG she looks just like Sophia Cracroft! Thank you for this post reaffirming the correct identity of the sitter.

  5. It wasn´t atually me, in the picture I found in Pinterest someone commented about the matter. Now I cannont find the pin nor the comment.