South : The story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917 by Sir. Ernest Shackleton
New York : The MacMillan Company, 1962. Hardcover. 380 pages ; 1 large fold-out map ; 21 cm. $4.50 dust jacket with musty odor to jacket and the interior of the book as well. Foxing to the front and rear endpapers. Pages are unmarked. Binding is firm. This is an Acceptable copy only due to the musty odor within this book.
" 'At 5 p.m. I ordered all hands on the ice.' "
On the fateful day of Wednesday, October 27, 1915, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men abandoned their ship, the Endurance —and began one of the most incredible adventures of all maritime history.
In December of 1914, Shackleton, the British polar explorer, set out with twenty-seven men to do what Hillary and Fuchs have only just recently accomplished— traverse Antarctica. The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was ill-fated from the start. Trapped for ten months on the deadly Weddell Sea by unseasonable ice, the Endurance was shattered by ice pressure before she even reached the Antarctic coast. Shipwrecked, Shackleton and his men spent three freezing months on an ice floe. Here, they bore cold and hunger, isolation and anxiety. With the break-up of the ice, they voyaged in three small boats, salvaged from the wreck, over hideous, gale-cursed seas to a barren island refuge. This was only the first step in their desperate struggle for survival: lacking radios with which to summon help, they still had to reach inhabited land.
In a small, open-decked whaleboat, Shackleton and a crew of five set sail for South Georgia Island, some 800 miles away. After fourteen days, they landed on the island's western shore. Yet, since their boat was not fitted to circumnavigate the island to where there was a whaling station, the exhausted men were forced to undergo still one more grueling journey. After a thirty-six-hour overland march across mountains and glaciers, they at last reached the whaling station of Grytviken—and safety.
Sir Ernest Shackleton's account of this extraordinary expedition is unspeakably thrilling. The writing is sober and straight-forward; the effect is epic. This is a classic of exploration.
Sir Ernest Shackleton was the last man to attempt the Pole with man-and dog-power alone. Although each of his four expeditions failed, he is known as one of the most heroic explorers of all time. In 1902, he accompanied Scott on Scott's first unsuccessful attempt to reach the South Pole. Several years later, in command of his own expedition, he came within ninety-seven miles of the Pole. On his fourth and final venture—the circumnavigation of the Antarctic—he died aboard ship at the age of 48.
Sir Ernest Shackleton was knighted in 1908 for his contribution to polar exploration.
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