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Description - South by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780712664127
ISBN-10: 0712664122
Format: Paperback
(249mm x 216mm x 11mm)
Pages: 208
Imprint: Pimlico
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 4-Nov-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - South by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

UK Kirkus Review » A finely designed and produced paperback edition of Shackleton's own account of his trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914, the book is liberally illustrated with well reproduced photographs by the expedition's photographer, Frank Hurley. It is these vivid images that bring to lfie the personalities mentioned in the story - here is wonderful photo-journalism before the name had been coined. The pictures show the pastimes, the small pleasures and great hardships of life aboard the ship and on the ice floes, the sledge-dogs and the men at work and at play. They illustrate, more vividly than any words can, the atmosphere of schoolboy adventure with which the expedition began, developing later into a harsh and desperate fight for survival. Shackleton's ambitious aim was to cross antarctica from sea to sea via the Pole. Even had their ship Endeavour not been crushed by ice before the expedition party could land, it is thought unlikely that the journey, finally accomplished as recently as 1958 by Sir Vivian Fuchs, could have succeeded in Shackleton's day. Like that of his contemporary, Captain R F Scott, Shackleton's heroic reputation is, ironically, founded upon an adventure that failed in its objective. Opinions have swayed back and forth in rather futile discussion as to which was the greater hero so that any book about one inevitably involved the other in a partisan dispute. In South, Shackleton gives no encouragement to this, writing with generosity about Scott and his fate, even though the men had been on terms of enmity. As leaders their styles were very different, Scott maintaining naval discipline where Shackleton relied upon his natural authority. The one attribute they seem to have shared was a carefree attitude towards training nad supplies. These and many other matters that have recently come to light are discussed by Peter King in this excellent introduction and in illuminating notes on the original text. South was always an exciting, engrossing story which in this edition, thansk to the editor's comments, also reveals Shackleton as a flawed but thoroughly human hero and all the greater as a result. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

Sir Ernest Shackleton, who was born in Ireland, became one of the great explorers of his day, itself a golden age for British Exploration. He was a member of Robert Falcom Scott's Antarctic expedition of 1901-04, and in 1907-9 he commanded an expedition that came within a hundred miles of the South Pole (first reached by Amundsen in 1911), located near the magnetic pole, and climbed Mount Erebus. His attempt in 1914-16 to cross the Antarctic is described in this book. He died on board the Quest, on his fourth exhibition to the area in 1922. Peter King has edited a number of travel books, principally those of George Nathaniel Curzon, whose writing included the classic Persia. Together with Maria Aitken, he has also written about Lady Travellers. His biographies include a study of Curzon and Kitchener in India.

Books By Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

South by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
Hardback, June 2016
South! by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
Paperback, February 2015
South: The Endurance Expedition: Popular Penguins by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
Paperback, September 2008
South: The Endurance Expedition To Antarctica by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
Paperback, December 1999