About the Book
South: the Story of Shackleton's last expedition
Sir Ernest Shackleton's South is one of the great books of exploration. It is a harrowing account of what he called "the last great journey on earth"--the Antarctic expedition in which his ship, the Endurance, was crushed by ice, forcing Shackleton and his men to make a 600-mile trek across the ice to land, a 700-mile journey in an open boat to South Georgia, followed by an epic crossing of the uncharted mountains and glaciers of the island. His story is superbly written, and from its first publication in 1919, it has never ceased to enthrall readers. Since that time, however, Shackleton's life--and his account of the expedition--have been dramatically re-evaluated by scholars and biographers. In this edition, journalist Peter King presents highly revealing annotations to Shackleton's text, offering a more detailed picture of what actually occurred and shedding new light on what still remains a magnificent drama of leadership. South is complete with 120 compelling photographs by Frank Hurley, the expedition's official photographer.
About the Author
Anglo-Irish explorer who was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. His first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Captain Scott’s Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, from which he was sent home early on health grounds. Determined to make amends for this perceived personal failure, he returned to Antarctica in 1907 as leader of the Nimrod Expedition. In January 1909 he and three companions made a southern march which established a record Farthest South latitude at 88°23'S, 97 geographical miles (114 statute miles, 190 km) from the South Pole, by far the closest convergence in exploration history up to that time. For this achievement, Shackleton was knighted by King Edward VII on his return home.
After the race to the South Pole ended in 1912 with Roald Amundsen's conquest, Shackleton turned his attention to what he said was the one remaining great object of Antarctic journeying—the crossing of the continent from sea to sea, via the pole. To this end he made preparations for what became the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914–17. Disaster struck this expedition when its ship, Endurance, was trapped in pack ice and slowly crushed, before the shore parties could be landed. There followed a sequence of exploits, and an ultimate escape with no lives lost, that would eventually assure Shackleton's heroic status, although this was not immediately evident.
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