Based upon the various conflicting accounts of John Franklin's calamitous attempt to complete and map the Northwest Passage, Franklin's Passage takes as its starting point a series of rhetorical questions posed by Henry David Thoreau in Walden: Is not our own interior white on the chart? Is it a North-West passage around this continent, that we would find? Are these the problems which most concern mankind? Is Franklin the only man who is lost? David Solway explores the concepts of narrative, parable, and allegory, treating the failed Expedition as an unfolding text in which the human adventure is subsumed and recorded, introducing the Expedition as a mirror in which the soul may see itself.