South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914 - 1917

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9780712664127: South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914 - 1917
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South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition, 1914-17

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It's all so British. Which polar explorer do we all know and revere? Captain Scott. Which polar explorer had a fixation for Naval class distinctions and refused to contemplate the idea of sledge-dog travel, thereby condemning himself and his companions to an icy death? Captain Scott. If we're looking for heroics, we've been looking in the wrong place. Ernest Shackleton has not received a quarter of Scott's plaudits but he is infinitely more deserving. Having got within 100 miles of the South Pole in 1908, pioneering the route up the Beardmore Glacier on to the polar icecap in the process, Shackleton was left to watch Amundsen and Scott slug it out for the big prize. Looking for a different challenge, he set sail for the Antarctic in the Endurance in the summer of 1914 in the hope of making the first trans-Antarctic crossing. The Endurance was crushed in the pack ice and Shackleton successfully led his 27 men to the edge of the ice. From there he made a sea crossing in three open boats to Elephant Island. After several months he realised there was no hope of rescue, so he set sail with four others on a 600-mile crossing to South Georgia. He was eventually shipwrecked on the uninhabited side of the island and forced into making the first-ever winter crossing. Two days later he strolled into the whaling station at Stromness, having been long since given up for dead and proceeded to personally oversee the rescue of those still stranded on Elephant Island. Not a single person in Shackleton's expedition party was lost. South is Shackleton's own account of this expedition. It tries hard--in the way latter-day Edwardians did--to play up the scientific discoveries but there's no disguising this is basically a classic tale of derring-do. As such it's a wonderful, if understated read, with an unexpected poignancy in the epilogue. When Shackleton returned to Europe, the First World War had been going on for two years. The political and psychological map of Britain had changed for ever and many of the returning explorers found it hard to adjust. This book has been reprinted many times since it was first published in 1919. This edition comes with a workman-like introduction from Peter King, who bizzarely manages to refer to Roland Huntford, author of the brilliant definitive biography of Shackleton, as James Huntford. Where it does score, though, is in the assembly of James Hurley's fantastic photographs of the expedition which are liberally sprinkled throughout the text. If the words don't get you, the pictures will. --John Crace

Review:

"A tale of human courage, or endurance, of hope undiminished, of skill and inventiveness, and above all, of leadership" (Lord Hunt)

"For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton" (Sir Edmund Hillary)

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Ernest Shackleton
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Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Illustrated edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Shackleton s South is one of the great books of exploration. Written by a national hero, about what he called the last great journey on earth - his Antarctic expedition in which his ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the ice, and he and his men made a 600-mile trek across ice and ocean to solid land. They then embarked on a 700-mile journey in an open boat to South Georgia, followed by an epic crossing of the uncharted mountains of that island. His account is superbly written, and the book has never ceased to enthral readers since it was first published in 1919. Since that time, however, Shackleton s life - and his account of the expedition - have been dramatically revalued by scholars and biographers, and it emerges that South conceals much of the truth about his great feat. In this edition Peter King, who has examined the latest research on the entire episode, presents in his additional notes a much more detailed picture of what really occurred. The major defects in Shackleton s organisation, the inadequate finances, the lack of training provided for his crew in the handling of skis, sledges and dogs, Shackleton s personal problems (which were considerable), the failure to provide proper supplies of food - these and many other details are explained, and give a fascinating background to what remains a magnificent drama of leadership. In addition, the book contains over a hundred beautifully produced photographs by Frank Hurley, the official photographer of the expedition as well as other contemporary illustrations. The explanatory captions, and the maps charting the course of the expedition, enable readers to follow Shackleton s account almost as it they were present themselves. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780712664127

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Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Illustrated edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Shackleton s South is one of the great books of exploration. Written by a national hero, about what he called the last great journey on earth - his Antarctic expedition in which his ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the ice, and he and his men made a 600-mile trek across ice and ocean to solid land. They then embarked on a 700-mile journey in an open boat to South Georgia, followed by an epic crossing of the uncharted mountains of that island. His account is superbly written, and the book has never ceased to enthral readers since it was first published in 1919. Since that time, however, Shackleton s life - and his account of the expedition - have been dramatically revalued by scholars and biographers, and it emerges that South conceals much of the truth about his great feat. In this edition Peter King, who has examined the latest research on the entire episode, presents in his additional notes a much more detailed picture of what really occurred. The major defects in Shackleton s organisation, the inadequate finances, the lack of training provided for his crew in the handling of skis, sledges and dogs, Shackleton s personal problems (which were considerable), the failure to provide proper supplies of food - these and many other details are explained, and give a fascinating background to what remains a magnificent drama of leadership. In addition, the book contains over a hundred beautifully produced photographs by Frank Hurley, the official photographer of the expedition as well as other contemporary illustrations. The explanatory captions, and the maps charting the course of the expedition, enable readers to follow Shackleton s account almost as it they were present themselves. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780712664127

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Book Description Vintage, 1999. Condition: New. Based upon Shackleton's diaries and writings, this work gives the reader an insight into the appalling conditions that the author and his party endured when the Endurance lay trapped in sea ice and they were forced to march 600 miles across unstable sea ice. Editor(s): King, Peter. Num Pages: 208 pages, 160 b&w photographs and maps. BIC Classification: 1MTS; 3JJF; BG; RGR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 253 x 200 x 17. Weight in Grams: 718. . 1999. Paperback. . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780712664127

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Book Description Vintage. Condition: New. Based upon Shackleton's diaries and writings, this work gives the reader an insight into the appalling conditions that the author and his party endured when the Endurance lay trapped in sea ice and they were forced to march 600 miles across unstable sea ice. Editor(s): King, Peter. Num Pages: 208 pages, 160 b&w photographs and maps. BIC Classification: 1MTS; 3JJF; BG; RGR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 253 x 200 x 17. Weight in Grams: 718. . 1999. Paperback. . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780712664127

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