The eighteenth century—the Age of Reason—was characterized by determined attempts by philosophers, scientists, and political theorists to dispel myth, superstition, and ignorance. But the Age of Reason also witnessed some of the most irrational and vainglorious attempts by sailors and speculators to find a navigable Northwest Passage that would lead through the icy seas of the Arctic from Hudson Bay to the wealth of the Pacific Ocean. Lured by the promise of fame and riches, men endured paralyzing cold, malnutrition, and terrifying storms. Many lives and fortunes were lost in the quest for the elusive "maritime philosopher’s stone." In this gripping work of narrative history, Glyn Williams describes the adventures and mishaps of these misguided expeditions. Vividly written and replete with fascinating characters, Voyages of Delusion is a riveting contribution to the history of North American exploration.