New Book on HMS Terror by Matthew Betts

I was quite surprised yesterday when I saw that there was a new book available on the Arctic (and Antarctic) exploration ship HMS Terror of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition. What’s more this is a book by Matthew Betts whose research, posted in his blog,, has been used in the development of OcCre Model’s wooden ship model kit, in the development of the AMC miniseries The Terror, and more.

The book is published by the Naval Institute Press. And, though they list the publication date as January 15, 2023, I have seen a photo of a copy “in the wild”. The price is listed at $49.95, but apparently if you order your copy before the end of the year, you’ll qualify for holiday pricing of 50% discount and free shipping – a better deal than Amazon Prime.

Amazon, by the way, does carry the book, but price is $31.95 for the physical book. They also have a Kindle version for $24.99. However, you have to ignore the description of the books contents and its author, as Amazon seems to have mixed up this book by Matthew Betts with one by Ian Buxton.

I have no information on the book’s contents, except that it’s 224 pages, and includes 250 color & b/w photos, prints, and line drawings, and the publisher’s description: “This book documents the history, design, modification, and fitting of HMS Terror, one of the world’s most successful polar exploration vessels. Part historical narrative and part technical design manual, this book provides, for the first time, a complete account of Terror’s unique career, as well as an assessment of her sailing abilities in polar conditions, a record of her design specifications, and a full set of accurate plans of her final 1845 configuration. It is an ideal reference for those interested in the Franklin Mystery, in polar exploration, the Royal Navy, and in ship design and modelling.”

I’m sure much of the information can also be found in Betts’ blog. I haven’t seen anyone attempt a scratch build of the ship except for Betts, but a kit of HMS Terror, produced by ship model kit manufacturer OcCre and based on Betts’ work, has been quite a popular kit, and is available from Ages of Sail and other popular online ship model supply shops.

In any case, I have my copy of Betts’ new book on order and hope to have it in a couple weeks. Maybe it will inspire me to get around to building this kit. Ω




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